Every day you make decisions on behalf of your company to improve your workers’ comp program. You always want to do the right thing, especially when people are involved. But business investments have to be cost-effective, too. With all the talk recently about ergonomic evaluations, you may wonder if this is worth the investment for your company.
A growing number of organizations across the country have turned to ergonomic evaluations. They give it a big thumbs-up. Here’s why.
What Can You Expect from Your Investment?
For any successful ergonomics program, you must start by evaluating the essential functions and tasks required for each job. An ergonomic evaluation is the most efficient and most accurate way to do this.
Bottom line savings
Ergonomic evaluations identify job-specific risk factors. Sometimes, you can modify jobs to eliminate those risks. You can always teach employees to work in a manner that prevents injuries. These proactive solutions reduce workers’ comp claims and direct costs. They also reduce or eliminate the indirect costs associated with on-the-job injuries and recovery.
When workers know how to perform all the tasks of their job efficiently, they can get more done. They don’t waste time on unnecessary movement. They don’t over-exert themselves by reaching up or outward in an awkward manner. They don’t get as tired. Because they know how to work safely, they are more confident in their ability.
People who are frustrated, fatigued or in pain do not produce good work. If a production worker’s task requires extra physical force, they might not give it their “all.” A housekeeper might simply skip flipping mattresses.
Investing in ergonomic evaluations allows you to help people work better. They appreciate that. They don’t want workplace injuries any more than you do. They see your efforts as an investment in them as well as your bottom line.
When employees are healthier and safer on the job, they are happier. That can do wonders to increase retention. On the other hand, turnover and absenteeism are costly. They can grind production to a halt, damaging customer relations.
Want some real-life examples? The Washington State Bureau of Labor and Industries conducted a review of 250 ergonomics studies. These studies took place in healthcare, office and industrial settings. Findings are presented in an easy-to-read chart so you can see:
Even at a quick glance, this document is a real eye-opener. Study after study shows significant impact. And reducing on-the-job injuries is just the beginning.
“Selling” Ergonomic Evaluations
It may be clear to you as a workers’ comp pro that an ergonomic assessment is the way to go. But you probably have to justify the investment to your company leadership. There are several ways you can do that. You can measure return on investment in terms of:
Demonstrating the business value of ergonomics is not difficult. That’s because it is a powerful risk management tool.
When you invest in ergonomic evaluations, you get many returns. You can reduce workers’ comp costs and you can boost productivity and work quality which impresses customers and increases revenue. Focusing on health and safety makes your company a desirable place to work. With all those benefits, implementing ergonomic evaluations could be one of your smartest business decisions.
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