office ergonomics: Re-emerging issues as employees return to work

By Barrow Group Staff / May 23, 2022

office ergonomics

Proper ergonomics—designing the workplace to fit within the capabilities and limitations of employees—can help organizations maximize efficiency and boost productivity among their workforce. The correct chair height, adequate equipment spacing and good desk posture can help employees stay comfortable at the office while preventing soft tissue injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ergonomic injuries account for 1 out of every 3 missed workdays. As employees return to the office, workplace ergonomics should be a priority to help decrease fatigue, discomfort and physical stress. The following are ways organizations can ensure proper workplace ergonomics:

  • Identify problems. The first step toward preventing issues is identifying and assessing ergonomic problems in the workplace. Hazards include improperly adjusted workstations and chairs, tasks that require repetitive movements and cold temperatures.
  • Involve workers in worksite assessments, solution development and implementation. The workforce often has first-hand experience dealing with ergonomic issues in the workplace. They can help organizational leaders by voicing their concerns and suggestions for reducing exposure to risk factors.
  • Provide training on proper workspace setup. Organizations should provide adjustable equipment that can cater to employee-specific needs to enhance workplace ergonomics. Desks should have clearance for knees, thighs and feet, computer monitors should be at eye level and feet should comfortably reach the floor.
  • Encourage early reporting of MSD symptoms. Early reporting of MSD symptoms can inform management of ergonomic issues. Steps can then be taken to prevent or reduce the progression of symptoms, the development of serious injuries and subsequent lost-time claims.

When employees are given the proper tools and set up for success, it can result in a healthier and more productive workforce. For more information, contact us today

Topics: office ergonomics

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