Ergonomics is defined as “the study of people’s efficiency at their work.” For most businesses, ergonomics means finding ways to adapt the work environment to better suit the people who work there. In an office, this might involve investing in stand-up desks and more comfortable chairs or rearranging the layout of the office to make it more convenient to move around.
But in the industrial field, adapting the work environment is easier said than done. We can’t always easily adjust machines or redo the layout of a warehouse or foundry.
However, the incidence of ergonomic injuries in industrial environments is staggeringly high, and poor ergonomics costs industrial businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Let’s look at some reasons why ergonomics matter in the industrial industry.
Injuries cost a lot more than you’d think! When a worker needs to take time off for an injury, their supervisors, managers, coworkers, and even HR employees need to work overtime to make up for their absence. Managers need to investigate the cause of the incident, other workers need to receive training on how to perform the injured worker’s daily responsibilities, and HR has to file seemingly endless amounts of paperwork. These activities all take a lot of time and resources.
Another reason why ergonomics matter in the industrial industry is because they can boost productivity. Nobody likes to work when they’re uncomfortable or in pain. Consequently, sick or injured workers are usually unproductive workers. Implementing ergonomic solutions can improve morale and productivity in a couple of ways.
For one, it keeps workers feeling healthy and motivated, which naturally leads to a greater amount and quality of work. Secondly, ergonomics in the industrial field often involves changing or automating processes to be less time-consuming. This means workers will have more time and more energy to spare, which often translates to a boost in productivity.
Improve Safety and Health
Poor ergonomics is one of the leading causes of injury in the industrial industry. Ergonomic injuries, also known as musculoskeletal injuries, are rarely chronic and often treatable. But these injuries still take time to heal and can result in workers taking days, weeks, or in some cases, months off work. For example, someone with carpal tunnel syndrome usually takes 25 days off to heal.
By prioritizing ergonomics in the workplace, you can improve worker safety, health, and morale, and keep absenteeism low.
Want to improve your business’s ergonomics? CSD’s industrial engineering services can help. By optimizing complex processes and systems, we can reduce operating costs, boost productivity, and improve worker safety for your factory or other industrial facility. Contact us for more information or to discuss a project opportunity today!