Purpose Behind Having Ergonomic Designed Furniture In The Workplace
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Purpose Behind Having Ergonomic Designed Furniture In the Workplace

Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces.

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) affect the muscles, nerves and tendons. Work related MSDs (including those of the neck, upper extremities and lower back) are one of the leading causes of lost workday injury and illness. Workers in many different industries and occupations can be exposed to risk factors at work.

Occupations with most MSDs

• Nursing assistants

• Laborers

• Janitors and cleaners

• Registered Nurses

• Stock clerks and order fillers

• Maintenance and repair workers

• Production workers

• Retail Salespersons

• Police and Sheriffs patrol officers

• Fire Fighters

• First line Supervisors of retail sales workers

• Assemblers and fabricators

(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011)

These factors include, but not limited to, lifting heavy items, bending, reaching overhead, pushing and pulling heavy loads, working in awkward body postures and performing the same our similar tasks repetitively. Exposure to these known risk factors for MSDs increases a worker’s risk of injury.

A Process for Protecting Workers

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers. In the workplace, the number and severity of MSDs resulting from physical overexertion, as well as their associated costs, can be substantially reduced by applying ergonomic principals.

Definition of ergonomic by Merriam & Webster – An applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely. In short, ergonomics is the scientific study of people at work.

Office furniture with an ergonomic design conforms to the body and reduces the risk of injury from stress and strain which in turn makes work a more comfortable experience.

Implementing an ergonomic process has been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of developing MSDs. A strong commitment by management is critical to the overall success of an ergonomic process. Management should define clear goals and objectives for the ergonomic process, discuss them with their workers, assign responsibilities to designated staff members, and communicate clearly with the workforce.

 Involve Workers - A participatory ergonomic approach, where workers are directly involved in worksite assessments, solution development and implementation is the essence of a successful ergonomic process. Workers can:

o Identify and provide important information about hazards in their workplaces.

o Assist in the ergonomic process by voicing their concerns and suggestions for reducing exposure to risk factors and by evaluating the changes made as a result of an ergonomic assessment.

 Provide Training - Training is an important element in the ergonomic process. It ensures that workers are aware of ergonomics and its benefits, become informed about ergonomics related concerns in the workplace, and understand the importance of reporting early symptoms of MSDs.

 Identify Problems - An important step in the ergonomic process is to identify and assess ergonomic problems in the workplace before they result in MSDs.

Note: An ergonomic process uses the principles of an Injury and Illness Prevention Program to address MSD hazards. Such a process should be viewed as an ongoing function that is incorporated into the daily operations, rather than as an individual project.

If you want to envision what I am talking about, come on over to MyModernOfficeFurniture and check out all the different products, styles, and designs (implementing the ergonomics concept) we offer. We are always increasing our inventory and offering other style and colors to fit your taste and needs.


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