According to the Health and Safety Advisor in the absence of proper ergonomics on the production floor, your employees could suffer musculoskeletal disorders (any injury, damage or disorder of the joints or other tissues in the upper/lower limbs or the back) because of a mismatch of their physical capacity to the demands of their occupation.
But you can prevent these incidents by implementing an ergonomics programme.
Use these five steps to implement an ergonomics programme in your company
Step #1: Conduct a risk assessment according to each occupation
Before you can control the risks in your workplace you need to know what they are, how serious they are and which of your employees are exposed to them.
The first step to managing the risk is by conducting an ergonomic survey. Carry this out to decide if there are enough precautions in place or if more needs to be done to prevent harm.
Step #2: Assess general safety risks
You must also consider general risk factors such as manual handling, awkward postures, work organisation and vibration from equipment.
Step #3: Identify best placement of ergonomics practice
Evaluate your workplace and determine those areas that will most benefit from design and placement changes.
Step #4: Redesign problem areas
Once you've identified and evaluated the critical ergonomic hot spots, you can re-design the problem areas to make sure they're ergonomically sound.
Step #5: Train your employees
Train your staff to self-monitor and regulate their ergonomic environment by making use of on-the-job spot checklists, like safe-work procedure checklists.
The objective is to meet compliance requirements while increasing safety, efficiency, and productivity.
Initiatives for reducing musculoskeletal problems in the workplace are most successful if you involve your employees and their representatives (union, health and safety representatives) to work together on risk assessment and investigating accidents.
Using these steps will ensure you implement a sound ergonomics programme that'll reduce incidents of musculoskeletal disorders in your workplace.
Turn to chapter E07 of your Health and Safety Advisor to get your general ergonomics check list.