Ergonomic assessments, or workplace ergonomics is the science of melding the job requirements of the worker with a sound workstation setup. As ergonomic professionals, we analyse the client, their working habits, posture, and repetition of job tasks. Using this data, we can effectively manage worker health and wellbeing, overall system performance (productivity) and reduce the likelihood of injury. An individuals daily work habits can positively or negatively affect the likelihood of developing an injury or illness. Therefore effective and successful ergonomic workstation ‘fits’ not only improves worker productivity and job satisfaction, it decreases illness and injury risk too.
Workplace musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) are among the most prevalent lost time injuries and illnesses in almost every industry, causing a great deal of pain and suffering among workers. WMSD, specifically those involving the back, are among the most costly Workcover Claims. Adding ergonomic assessments to your best practice policies and procedures is an effective, easy to implement tool that will benefit your whole team. According to a Workcover report from 2016, the average cost of a Workcover claim is $40,051, a very costly price for lost-time.
Poor workstation ergonomics can lead to many musculoskeletal problems, and these conditions can manifest quickly, or may take longer to present. Incorrect workstation setup and poor posture can lead to tendonitis, tenosynovitis, epicondylitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, rounded and slumped shoulders, stooping, craning neck, lower back pain, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, thoracic outlet syndrome, and many other upper thoracic problems.
People (and Workstations) Are Not ‘One Size Fits all’.
The reality is, when starting a new job, we are inducted and shown how the building works, where the fire exists are, the bathrooms, kitchen, print room, supply cupboard and the like. However chances are, an individual ergonomic assessment was never booked in. Your workstation was never set up correctly for YOU, and you simply adjusted the chair to make it comfortable, not taking into consideration, the chair in relation to your height, the chair tilt, seat pad depth, arm rests, desk height or whether you need a foot rest. Did you also consider the monitor height, and depth, keyboard and mouse placement, telephone position, and clutter underneath your desk? Ergonomics in the workplace, principles and setup are difficult to implement when you don’t know the guidelines, as all body types are different, one ergonomic workstation setup does not fit all.
At a recent workplace ergonomic assessment check, some interesting findings arose. In one particular team, three of the women were 170 cm tall, yet their ideal desk height, and therefore chair height, were all different. Even though the women were all 170cm, this is only one element in their anthropometric characteristics. Anthropometrics is the scientific study of the measurements and proportions of the human body, and height is only one anthropometric measurement. Leg length, torso, arms, neck length etc, can all be vastly different, which has massive knock on effects. The worker who has longer legs requires a higher desk height to be comfortable, whereas the worker with a longer torso requires a shorter desk height but higher chair height, and a foot stool. There are so many factors to consider when conducting workplace ergonomic assessments, so take the guess work out of ergonomic in the workplace, and call us.
Workstation Ergonomic Cheat Sheets.
There are so many cheat sheets and ergonomic guidelines but people are not ‘one size fits all’. Humans come in many shapes and sizes which means ergonomic assessments are an invaluable tool to tailor workstations to fit individuals. What about hot desks? We teach individuals how to adjust different elements to suit their needs, creating comfortable places to work. A comfortable worker is a productive worker, whereas an uncomfortable worker will be distracted by their niggling pains, their uncomfortable position, the crick in their neck, the pain in their lower back. A quick 15 – 30 minute ergonomic assessment may be all thats required to ease niggling pains and create neutrality.
On-Site Job and Workstation Assessments Are the Most Effective.
That’s because our ergonomic assessments are very specific. As part of our 50 point ergonomic workstation checklist and assessment, we watch tasks being performed in real-life working conditions. Is the worker a touch typer? Do they use the mouse the majority of the time, or the numerical keypad for data entry? What percentage of the workers day is completing common tasks, using which devices? How the worker reads documents, and uses their workstation all form part of our workplace ergonomic assessment. Corporate work spaces may be similar from one place to another, but everybody uses their time and workstation differently. That makes every job environment unique.
When you can anticipate what activities might cause injuries, you can take steps toward prevention. We can work with employees individually or as a group, in training sessions or workshops. Both types of training help prevent injuries. And that’s the ultimate goal of ergonomic assessments.
Why Choose Us
- We specialise in the corporate office worker, those that sit at their workstation for the majority of the day.
- Workplace Safety and Prevention is a priority
- We collate and analyse data from our 50 point checklist, observe work conditions, and suggest recommendations for each individual.
- Workplace Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSD) are our focus because they’re the most common, and we identify risk factors for these injuries.
- We suggest actionable improvements to implement immediately, as well as providing stretching protocols for each individual.
- Companies that are serious about worker safety use ergonomic assessments to improve worker comfort, and therefore productivity.
Who is Qualified to Perform Ergonomic Assessments?
It takes special training to perform effective Workplace Ergonomic Assessments. To effectively evaluate job-related movements requires specific training in subjects including:
- Cognitive ergonomics
- Organisational ergonomics
- Techniques for assessing job positions and movements
- Best practices in creating solutions to reduce risk and prevent injuries.
Suzie Taylor has over 20 years practical experience in the health and wellness industry, providing Corpoate Massage services nationally for Australians She has completed a Bachelor of Health Science, and more recently has furthered studies in specialised areas including carpal tunnel syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, headaches, frozen shoulder and other Workplace Musculoskeletal disorders often associated with sedentary office jobs. Suzie has also completed numerous training courses on workplace ergonomics, specifically for the office worker.
Benefits of an Injury Prevention Program.
- Cost-effective and simple way to reduce Workcover claims, injuries and costs.
- Prevents multiple potential injuries by training the workforce over time on best practices.
- Increases employee morale and builds teamwork
- Increases worker productivity
- Reduces lost time
- Mitigates the risks associated with an aging workforce
- Improves ergonomic efficiency.
Duration and Pricing.
Each low risk Workstation ergonomic assessment takes between 15 and 30 minutes per person. For personnel with pre-existing injuries and/or disorders we like to spend an hour per consultation.
For a personalised quote for you and your team, please call on 1800 333 807 or get in touch via the enquiry button below.