Ergonomics is defined as, “a science that deals with designing and arranging things so that people can use them easily and safely” (Merriam-Webster). The scope of ergonomics is obviously very broad covering many different categories. For the purpose of this blog post, we will mainly be focusing on RMDs caused by overuse in manufacturing facilities.
Common Ergonomic Risk Factors
Source: Ergonomic Signs and Symptoms
Benefits of Making Ergonomic Improvements
Simple solutions can be made to improve facility ergonomics to benefit a company. Beyong cost savings, some benefits are listed below...
Source: FSM, 2014
So, how exactly can you improve your facility to be more ergonomic? Truth is, it really depends on your particular facility, but there are some universal changes almost everyone can benefit from. For example: standing surfaces.
Bare concrete is not ergonomic. Workers will end up having knee, hip, or back problems if they work on bare concrete day after day. Work mats can reduce the effects of standing all day by relieving the contact pressure caused by walking on cement.
Other great solutions for assembly line workers include stools and/or platforms of different heights for workers to stand. This helps the number one Ergonomic Risk Factors which is awkward or sustained postures. By allowing workers to work at a height that is appropriate for them, you will greatly reduce the risk of back injuries.
By implementing these changes, your company can save a great deal of money and keep your employees happy and healthy. Ergonomic changes will make your facility much more functional and efficient; therefore, helping the company as a whole.
(n.d.). Retrieved May 22, 2014, from Merriam-Webster: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ergonomics
Ergonomic Signs and Symptoms. (n.d.). Retrieved May 22, 2014, from University of California, Riverside - Ergonomics: http://ergonomics.ucr.edu/signs_symptoms.html
FSM. (2014, April). Posture Preservation. Facility Safety Management, pp. 16-19.
Redcross, E. (2011, May 20). Workstations: Is Your Assembly Line Ergonomic? Retrieved May 20, 2014, from Assemby Magazine: http://www.assemblymag.com/articles/print/89033-workstations-is-your-assembly-line-ergonomic