The main objective of this session is to help you understand how to prevent injuries from poor ergonomics in your workplace. By the time this session is over, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge of ergonomics in industrial settings to reduce injury; identify risk factors and potential injuries caused by poor ergonomics in the workplace; and implement methods to minimize or eliminate ergonomic hazards.
Why “Industrial Ergonomics in California” Matters:
If your workplace is not designed with industrial ergonomics in mind, workers may be at risk of suffering from sprains, strains, soreness, and pain or more serious injuries from working in awkward positions for an extended amount of time. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) one-third of all recordable worker injuries each year result from ergonomic hazards. These injuries are often associated with lifting and repetitive motions.
Costs of injuries from ergonomic hazards—in the form of lost time and worker compensation claims—are staggering. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical expenses, lost wages, lower productivity, and other expenses from these injuries amount to over $100 billion annually. Nearly 30 percent of all compensation claims are from back injuries. Injured employees who endure chronic pain and often have to leave their job for long stretches are likelier candidates for mental health issues, such as depression. Workplace injuries and illnesses can have an intolerable effect not only on workers but also on their families and family life in general. Healthy employees are more likely to be more productive and produce higher-quality work. Having healthy employees creates a happy and positive attitude about their jobs and contributes to overall workplace morale.
- The general idea of ergonomics—fit the work to the worker, not vice versa.
- The effects of MSD injuries can take a long time to appear but are often crippling when they set in. If you are uncomfortable, you are already doing damage to your body.
- Know the MSD risk factors, recognize the symptoms, and react. Being aware of the causes of injuries is the first step in preventing them.
- Talk to your employer if you feel unsafe, and refer to the California standard if the situation warrants it.
- A safe workplace is a happy, productive workplace.