The United States Department of Labor defines Ergonomics as “the science of designing the job to fit the worker, rather than physically forcing the worker’s body to fit the job.” Adapting tasks, work stations, tools, and equipment to fit the worker can help reduce physical stress on a worker’s body and reduce the risk of sustaining many potentially serious, disabling, work-related musculoskeletal disorders.1
Effective ergonomic practices can increase productivity by overall reducing the time taken to complete tasks as well as decrease instances of absenteeism due to work-related injury or illness.
The Arrigan Rehabilitation Center has ergonomic specialists who can assess an employee’s work station and make recommendations to relieve musculoskeletal stress, improve blood-flow, and promote a safer environment. We must obtain permission from the employer to evaluate the work station, and it is most beneficial if the employee is present at the time of the evaluation to ensure accuracy of the job demands. Many changes are often made the same day as the evaluation. Following through on any potential equipment recommendations is always at the discretion of the employer.
Referrals for ergonomic assessments can be sent by the treating physician or the Workers’ Compensation Court for employees who have a reported work injury.
1 U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (2000), Ergonomics: The Study of Work. Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3125.pdf