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Ergonomic Hazards in the Workplace: What You Should Know

Each person at the workplace wants to be productive while giving out quality results. However, the productivity of most employees is influenced by a variety of key factors. This includes the environment, their level of comfort, and the tasks that they are doing. But one of the most major influencers to the productivity of employees are hazards.

Let’s face it; nobody wants to work in a dangerous environment. Not only are hazards a distraction to employees while also affecting the quality of their work, but hazards can also cause injuries. The last thing that employers want is work-related injuries that can lead to legal complications.

Although you might have addressed and ironed out physical and biological hazards that are detrimental to the health of your workers, there’s one type of hazard that most employers tend to overlook: ergonomic hazards. Although it might seem trivial, ergonomic hazards are a clear and present issue in many working environments.

What Are Ergonomic Hazards?

But before getting into what are some key strategies that can help with ergonomic hazards, let’s answer a prevalent question: what are ergonomic hazards in the first place?

Ergonomic hazards are long-term hazards that can place strain on an individual’s musculoskeletal system. This is one of the main reasons many individuals in the workplace experience intense back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and stress.

But compared to other types of hazards, ergonomic hazards usually manifest in the long term, especially when most individuals are doing repetitive movements. In fact, studies show that over 1.8 million workers have musculoskeletal disorders in the United States alone.

So what are some key strategies that can help address ergonomic hazards in the workplace? How do you ensure that your workers aren’t too burnt out and stressed from doing the same activities every shift? Here’s what you need to know to address ergonomic hazards.

Offer Professional Medical Help

One of the best ways of addressing ergonomic hazards in the workplace is by offering help from professionals. It’s important to keep in mind that ergonomic hazards are also a natural part of the workplace. For instance, individuals need to sit down on office chairs for extended periods of time to get work done.

However, sitting down for a longer time than usual can also affect how your body supports itself. The spine supports much of a person’s upper body’s weight. Although many ergonomic chairs offer lumbar support, sitting for extended periods can still result in lower back pain.

Suppose some employees are currently feeling a build-up of pressure and radiating pain in the lower spine. Fortunately, chiropractors are knowledgeable in treating lower back pain. Chiropractic care and treatments can help get employees up to speed.

Ensure Proper Management of the Workforce

Probably one of the most effective ways of addressing ergonomic hazards comes in the form of proper workforce management in the workplace. Knowing how to manage your employees’ well-being and productivity can ensure that they remain healthy and happy at work.

The following administrative strategies can help reduce ergonomic hazards:

  • Break down tasks into schedules while reducing the weight workers need to carry. This can relieve strain on the back.
  • Use proper equipment when lifting heavy objects.
  • Renovate and redesign the workplace to help reduce problems with posture and strain.
  • Ensure that all employees are given a full range of motion when they are completing tasks.

Have Engineering Controls in Place

Last but not least, one of the best ways of maximizing the ergonomics of employees and ensuring that they are comfortable at the workplace is by placing some time and effort into making operating equipment easier to handle.

Even at the office, there is now a multitude of equipment that can are more ergonomic. Wrist rests are a great way of ensuring that the hands are leveled with keyboards, which can help reduce carpal tunnel syndrome. At the same time, many office chairs are designed for the spine’s natural curvature. This kind of equipment can help with proper sitting.

Ergonomic hazards are a clear and present issue for many individuals in the workplace. When you’re working for around eight to ten hours straight in a day, some parts of your body might start aching.

Employers want to maximize profits and increase their margin levels, and the best way of doing this is by keeping the workforce healthy and motivated to do their work. Spicing up their work schedule, creating a better working environment by investing in ergonomic tools, and offering professional medical help are just some ways of addressing ergonomic hazards.

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