At first, posture and ergonomics may seem like a fringe issue to some organizations. In actuality, addressing the issues of posture and ergonomics in the workplace is essential for any company and can directly affect not only the well-being of employees, but the well-being of the organization as a whole.
Addressing posture and ergonomics in the workplace results in three, very positive results for any organization:
- Improves morale and productivity and reduces work absences
- Results in significant cost savings
- Reduces on-site injury and resulting litigation
Let’s take a look at each issue in turn.
1 – Improved morale and productivity and reduced work absences
According to a 2011 report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, musculoskeletal-related injuries are on the rise in the workplace- the rate of MSD injuries that resulted in days off from work increased by another 4 percent to 34 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. From 1981 to 1996, the number of injuries reported by employers to the BLS went from 22,700 to 281,000. By taking proactive measures to reduce the risks of MSD injuries in the workplace, a company can significantly reduce absenteeism and lost man hours and increase productivity.
MSD injuries have also been found to predominate the female workforce, a subset of employees that is already inordinately affected by workplace stress. According to the CDC, female employees make up 63 percent of all work-related repetitive motion injuries.
2 – Results in significant cost savings
OSHA estimates that work-related musculoskeletal disorders now account for one out of every three dollars spent on workers’ compensation. Estimates are that employers spend nearly $20 billion a year on MSD-related workers’ compensation, and up to five times that on hiring and training the workers needed to replace the injured workers.
The comparably minimal upfront costs of proactive, preventative measures through ergonomics and access to therapeutic care and preventative maintenance programs can result in sizable cost savings in the long run.
3 – Reduces on-site injury and resulting litigation
Given that we live in an increasingly litigious age, it behooves every company to take steps to prevent against future litigation related to musculoskeletal injury. Workplace-related injuries are a cottage industry for worker’s compensation lawyers and a company can face litigation from both the legitimately injured and those who are inflating their claim. If an organization can show that it took the necessary steps voluntarily to prevent against workplace injuries related to musculoskeletal damage, it will have a much better chance of defending against claims levied against it.
By keeping these issues in mind, and proactively addressing workplace ergonomics, a company can save money and keep employees happy and productive. To find out more about workplace ergonomics and in-house wellness programs for your employees, visit DASHA® wellness & spa at dashawellness.com.