Over time, the aches and pains of sitting behind a desk can add up.
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Sometimes the pain can become so bad that it impedes your employees' ability to do their work - or even show up for work at all. That's bad news for your business, but it can be avoided with a little preventative remedy known as ergonomics.
Ergonomics is the application of tools and resources to prevent job-related injuries due to repetitive motion, uncomfortable positions, and other factors.
If this sounds like much ado about nothing, think again. The cost of work-related injuries like carpal tunnel and other avoidable problems is staggering when you take into account not only the price of healthcare, but also lost profits due to decreased productivity and sick days.
Since small businesses are hit hardest by the loss of even a single employee, ergonomics is a topic that you can't afford to ignore.
Getting onboard with ergonomics takes time and effort, but not nearly as much time and effort as an unhealthy workforce. If you aren't sure where to begin just remember that any step you take is a step in the right direction. Here are a few other tips to help you guide you along the way.
If you are like most business owners, you probably don't know a lot about things like repetitive motion injuries and ergonomic design. However, don't let your ignorance stand in the way of a healthier workplace. As an employer, it's your responsibility to get educated in the area of occupational health. Since occupational health is a hot topic there is no shortage of books and websites at your disposal.
Seek Input from Your Employees
After you've acquired some general information, you'll need to start thinking about the problems that exist in your workplace and begin to explore possible ergonomic solutions. Your employees are your best source of information about what hurts at work so it makes sense to involve them in the process. Solicit their input before you make any decisions!
Training, Training, Training
The most ingenious ergonomic solutions won't do a bit of good if your employees don't know how to use them. Like you, many employees aren't up to speed on occupational health issues. They need to receive training about how to use the preventative remedies you implement as well as other things they can do to stay healthy. Ergonomic product vendors may even be willing to do some of the training themselves.
It's important to remember that ergonomics is a long-term, preventative solution. After a brief foray into ergonomic design, some employers lose interest and their commitment to a healthy workplace suffers. Don't fall into this trap! Instead, make a long-term commitment to finding comfortable and healthy ergonomic solutions for the people who work hard to make your business a success.