According to a recent Harvard study, there is a £3 return for every £1 spent supporting occupational health.
Workspace assessments, or ergonomic assessments, are a key part of The Valley Clinic’s Workplace Wellness Programme. It’s not enough to just provide the right furniture and equipment. Without educating the individual about best positioning, usage and postures, you cannot ensure you are providing a safe and comfortable work environment. I have yet to visit a site and find an employee with all aspects of their workspace ideally managed. Chairs are the wrong height, or the seat tilt and backrest are not optimally positioned. Often display screen are incorrectly positioned, and work habits put people at risk of developing strains. A few minutes spent tweaking the set up can save the employee pain and suffering whilst saving you money.
Here’s what Jesse Ryan from Augment HR has to say about it.
Sitting all day in front of a computer is something that millions of people do at work each day. Many of these same people suffer from a variety of muscle strain and stress-related injuries because their workstations are not properly set up. How often have you caught yourself slouching or with poor posture? It is this that leads to regular neck and back pain, and other issues that get in the way of you being able to concentrate and be more productive.
“Are you looking to reduce worker’s compensation and health care costs for your company? Is improving productivity one of your company’s core business objectives this year? How about improving product quality? If this is the case, then establishing or improving upon your company’s workplace ergonomics process should be on the top of your to-do list,” says Mark Middlesworth from Ergonomics Plus.
To remedy this issue, many companies are investing in ergonomic assessments and are realizing the benefits it offers their employees and their business.
1. WHAT IS AN ERGONOMIC ASSESSMENT?
An ergonomic assessment, also referred to as a workstation assessment, analyses a person’s workstation to ensure it is designed to minimize injury and maximize productivity. The assessments are conducted by occupational physiotherapists and assess a number of key factors that can impact your ability to work comfortably. They look at:
- Physical work demand
- Workstation design and the equipment being used
- Keyboard use
- Environmental factors such as lighting and noise
Recommendations are made to improve workstations to reduce stress and strain on workers, and make them more productive.
2. HOW DO ERGONOMIC ASSESSMENTS BENEFIT MY BUSINESS?
Investing in ergonomic assessments benefit your employees by improving their workplace environment and ensuring they have workstations that minimize stress on their body. It benefits your business by:
- Improving productivity: Good posture and less exertion and stress will make it easier for your employees to perform tasks, helping them to become more efficient. It will also improve the quality of work being produced by your team.
- Improving employee engagement: People notice when you invest in them. Taking steps to improve health and safety, and caring about your employees’ working conditions will improve the culture. “If an employee does not experience fatigue and discomfort during their workday, it can reduce turnover, decrease absenteeism, improve morale and increase employee involvement,” says Middlesworth.
- Reducing operations costs: By improving ergonomics, you will reduce sick days, workplace injuries, and have a healthier workforce.
Overall, investing in ergonomics will promote a safer workplace and establish a culture of safety. “Ergonomics shows your company’s commitment to safety and health as a core value,” says Middlesworth. “The cumulative effect of the previous four benefits of ergonomics is a stronger safety culture for your company. Healthy employees are your most valuable asset; creating and fostering the safety & health culture at your company will lead to better human performance for your organization.”