Preventing Injuries at Work

Out of all the workplace injuries that can occur, musculoskeletal disorders are among the most common. Examples of these disorders include tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, and are defined by their ability to hinder a person’s musculoskeletal system and limit the movement of the body. Poor ergonomics at the workplace can lead to discomfort for workers, and this discomfort can lead to musculoskeletal disorders if left unchecked.

You can prevent these disorders by improving your workplace’s ergonomics, so keep reading to see how this can be done.

Ergonomic Risks You Need to Combat

Empty Office

Before you can improve the ergonomics of your workplace, you need to be aware of the specific risks that can lead to musculoskeletal disorders and other injuries. These factors can create pain or discomfort for workers, and can lead to serious health problems if they are not dealt with. Simply put, these are the factors you are trying to combat by improving your workplace ergonomics.

For example, workers can suffer from injuries if they are forced to sit or stand in uncomfortable positions for long periods of time. Another factor involves being forced to put in large amounts of exertion without breaks. Factors like these put stress on workers, and prolonged exposure to them can lead to serious long-term damage.

Get Better Chairs

In regards to improving ergonomics at work, getting ergonomic office chairs is vital. Full-time workers are going to be sitting in their chairs for long periods of time (possibly up to eight hours), and if their chairs are not comfortable then they may suffer from issues like back pain. When looking for ergonomic office chairs, consider the following factors.

Adjustability is crucial, so look for office chairs with adjustable heights, backrests, and arms so workers can set things the way they want. Materials are also important, and it would be best to look for chairs made from materials like fabric and mesh. Lastly, look for chairs with lumbar support, since these provide strong lower back support and help to reduce back strain.

Opt for Adjustable Desks

Sit-Stand Workstation

In addition to adjustable office chairs, you need to consider purchasing adjustable desks for your office. Adjustable desks allow workers to easily adjust their desks to comfortable heights. This helps people keep computer monitors at eye level, reducing the risk of neck or eye strain.

Sit-stand workstations in particular are great for improving ergonomics in the office. These workstations give workers the option to either sit or stand during workhours, giving them free reign to work however they please. Standing at work can actually reduce leg strain, so giving workers the option to do so is great for office ergonomics.

Enforcing Better Positioning

Another source of strain at the workplace comes from poor positioning of devices on a worker’s desk. If an employee has to strain their eyes, arms, or neck in order to get assignments done, then something is amiss. Help employees reorganize and adjust their workstations so they do not suffer from strain during the workday.

Make sure people who are working on computers keep their keyboards and mice close by so they do not have to stretch their arms out too far. On a similar note, computer monitors should be kept at eye level so people do not have to twist their necks just to look at the screen. Lastly, tell workers to keep their arms and hands parallel to the floor to reduce arm strain.

Improve Lighting & Temperature

Ceiling Lights

One other area where you can make ergonomic improvements is office lighting and temperature. Poor office lighting can put strain on a worker’s eyes, so make sure the lights are bright enough so workers are not squinting see something. However, you should not use lights that are too powerful, because extremely bright lights can also be straining. Focus on softer yellow lights, as these are much easier on the eyes.

Temperature is also important in office ergonomics, since it also plays a role in how comfortable workers can be. Worker productivity can be affected if the temperature is too cold or too warm, so the key is to strike a comfortable balance. A temperature system with individual control can help you out with this.

If you have a stricter dress code at your office, you may want to ease up a bit during the summer so workers do not get too hot.

Want to learn more about how you can improve your office ergonomics?
Download the Big Cat Ergonomic Office Whitepaper and see how you can do just that.
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