Ergonomics is more than injury prevention; it’s about maintaining employee health and therefore the health of the business.
Ergonomic principals contribute all business metrics: Safety, Quality, Delivery, Costs, Morale and the Environment can all benefit from a robust ergonomics process.
Through work stations designed to accommodate worker capabilities, improved quality and productivity is achieved. A well-designed workstation also eliminates wasted motion and handling and reduces walking distances.
To see more on how the science of ergonomics can help businesses, read the full article below.
Ergonomics: Keeping Workers and Businesses Healthy
The first decade of the new millennium has presented the world with some of the most challenging business conditions that most of us have ever encountered. The business world has seen the opening of vast new markets and the emergence of formidable global competition. The economic conditions have stretched our resources beyond anything we could have imagined and have driven changes in every aspect of how we provide our products and services. Every business has had to scramble to reduce costs, improve quality and increase productivity just to survive.
The companies that have survived the last decade have employed a wide variety of strategies to rapidly make the changes necessary to adjust to the changing business climate. Lean methods have been applied to identify and eliminate waste. Six Sigma has been implemented to improve quality and reduce costs. The restructuring of business units and the combination of operations seek to achieve operational efficiencies. The list goes on and on.
One element that has not changed is the fact that all of our businesses, regardless of where in the world they occur, rely on people to perform the work necessary to produce and deliver the products and services we provide. This simple fact makes it critically important to remember to include the application of sound ergonomics practices in our arsenal of strategic tools to sustain and improve our ability to compete.
The science of ergonomics is often perceived to be targeted only toward the reduction of injuries. While this alone is a significant benefit, during these challenging times it is important to remember that the application of sound ergonomic principles also contributes significantly to every other business metric. Safety, Quality, Delivery, Costs, Morale and the Environment can all benefit from a robust ergonomics process. Work stations, designed to accommodate worker capabilities, result in improved quality and productivity. Well-designed workstations eliminate wasted motion and handling and reduce walking distances.
Our experience has shown that when properly designed, workstation configurations can reduce or eliminate damaged parts and products, resulting in reduced scrap and re-work. Ergonomically designed work environments frequently result in reduced absenteeism, fewer restricted workers and improved employee moral. In our experience, office environments yield significant benefits when sound ergonomic designs are incorporated. Data entry errors are reduced and productivity increases. Comfortable, adjustable work stations result in less time away from the job. Each of these improvements can significantly contribute to an improved competitive position and when combined, the benefits can mean the difference between success and failure.
There is no one process improvement tool or method that solves every problem, but having the right tool for the task is always a wise investment. When faced with the challenges of downsizing, restructuring, combining operations or identifying cost reduction opportunities, be sure to include ergonomics as one of the “must have” strategic tools in your arsenal.