Reducing Workers’ Compensation Claims Through Ergonomics
As a business owner, you are painfully familiar with the costs of providing workers' compensation to your employees. Of course, you are required to do so by law, but as a responsible businessperson, you no doubt want your employees to work in a safe and productive environment. Because ergonomic injuries are so prevalent in the workplace, you can keep your costs down and your employees healthy by making your company ergonomically sound. You will also be less likely to face expensive employee litigation due to workplace injury.
Musculoskeletal disorders are one of the biggest causes of worker injuries and lost time on the job. These injuries occur due to heavy lifting, pushing, bending, and repetitive movement. In 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the worst occupations for these injuries are construction, retail, health care, transportation, and wholesale trade. This type of injury accounts for 33% of all workman compensation claims. Practicing good ergonomics in the workplace is especially good for preventing repetitive strain injury, a frequent musculoskeletal complaint of employees.
You do not need to invest in the most expensive equipment, but you do need to provide office furnishings that adjust to each employee.
A comfortable chair with a good cushion and adjustable arms, back rests, and seat heights can go a long way toward reducing injuries at work. Chairs with lumbar support that swivel and roll are even better, allowing workers to reach items on their desks with ease while constantly supporting their backs. Sitting for long periods of time is hard enough on the body. Workers sitting with their bodies misaligned are going to cause stress on their muscles and bones and may require time away from work to heal.
Osha recommends that desks be deep enough to allow monitors to be twenty inches away from your employees. They should also be able to angle each one so that viewing is comfortable. They also note that using corner desks gives your workers more space to arrange their materials for easy access. Providing your workforce with wrist rests and padding for sharp edges will reduce contact injuries.
For a healthy, happy workforce, provide ergonomic chairs and desks for employees' daily use. You can purchase many affordable items that will ease the potential of repetitive strain injury and other musculoskeletal problems that cause lost work time each year. In addition to saving you money, your employees will be more comfortable and, as a result, more productive. You will face less time with your attorneys, and you can feel good about offering safe practices at your business. Check out http://www.lshlaw.com for more information on workers' compensation issues.