Ergonomics is a hot topic right now in manufacturing, distribution, and industrial companies. Many have formed ergonomics committees to prevent injuries and keep employees safe. In fact, ergo committees play a significant role in newly formed corporate wellness teams. In this post, we take a closer look at ergonomics committees and their role in the overall safety culture.
As industries continue to experience staff shortages and service interruptions, keeping workers healthy and engaged has become critical. When someone gets injured on the job, it can reduce an organization's overall productivity and the bottom line. With this in mind, many managers are now prioritizing injury prevention and employee wellness programs to enhance employee retention.
Lowering injury rates often starts with workplace ergonomics. Ergonomics is the science of designing tasks and work environments to fit individuals' capabilities to safely and consistently perform their jobs. Poor ergonomics contribute to many debilitating workplace injuries, such as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and repetitive motion injuries (RMIs), which help feed employee turnover and early retirements.
When employees work in awkward and uncomfortable positions, they can develop fatigue and health problems that reduce their effectiveness and job satisfaction. Poor ergonomics also contribute to worker error rates and slower performance. Making work tasks easier to perform can help individuals avoid injuries, improve work quality, and be more productive.
The Valuable Role of Ergonomic Committees
Some organizations have created in-house committees to manage ergonomic risks in the work environment. Ergonomic committees include people that have an excellent working knowledge of the tasks involved in the jobs. The committee may include engineers, operations managers, health and safety professionals, and employees who can provide crucial insight into job requirements.
Before the committee can be effective, the group will need specialized training to identify and solve ergonomic problems. The committee should have support and funding from upper management to implement workflow changes and acquire ergonomic equipment as required.
Ergonomic committees perform two essential functions: 1) collect information on ergonomic and safety hazards in the workplace and resolve them; and 2) help employees learn better, safer ways of working based on sound ergonomic principles. They can educate workers on MSD risk factors and how ergonomics can make their work activities more comfortable and less tiring.
Ergonomic committees collect information on workplace conditions using metrics tracking, case management, and worksite assessments. They can then use the data to recommend updates to job tasks, routines, or new equipment to lessen injury rates and lost workdays. Members of the committee can also report on and share relevant information on workplace safety issues with management and qualified healthcare professionals.
Increase Committee Effectiveness with Ergonomic Consulting Services
While many firms recognize the importance of workplace ergonomics, some organizations don't have the in-house expertise needed to design and carry out ergonomic initiatives independently. Ergonomic services firms help the team learn about and implement effective ergonomic programs in these cases. They may suggest equipment changes or improvements to the work environment or processes that reduce employees' discomfort and injury rates.
Ergonomic training and consulting services vary by company, and they can often customize services for your industry and work environment. Services may include onsite ergonomic assessments, employee safety training, workstation audits, and reports and recommendations for a safer, healthier workplace.
Augmenting an ergonomic committee's activities with qualified ergonomic consulting services is an excellent way to extend its effectiveness and impact. The engagement can help the committee deploy ergonomic best practices to improve employee wellness, increase workplace productivity, and comply with labor regulations.
WorkWell’s Onsite PT Services includes ongoing guidance and assistance to ergonomics committees. To learn more, download our brochure below:
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