Workplace ergonomics program prevents musculoskeletal discomfort, injury

A comprehensive and proactive workplace ergonomics program can help prevent musculoskeletal discomfort and injury, according to research presented at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting.

Researchers surveyed more than 200 employees relocating to a new facility with a proactive program that included ergonomic workstations, group training and one-on-one consultations. All participants provided an opinion on how the new program compared with their former workplace which did not provide ergonomic equipment or routine assessments.

According to study results, employees reported significantly less musculoskeletal and visual discomfort after relocation, as well as higher levels of job satisfaction and happiness. Employees also said the ergonomics program would enhance company retention and recruitment.

“Proactive programs are preventive and aim to design out problems before the workplace is built, making it much easier to maintain and manage,” Alan Hedge, PhD, CPE, FHFES, FIEHF, FIEA, professor in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University, stated in a press release. “A good ergonomics program is extremely beneficial to both employers and employees. It is a highly cost-effective way to improve performance, health and well-being, and happiness. We can expect even better results for companies that fully commit to the ergonomic redesign of their workplaces and the establishment of a proactive ergonomics program.”

For more information:

Hedge A. Human Factors and Ergonomics: People-Friendly Design Through Science and Engineering. Presented at: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting; Oct. 27-31, 2014; Chicago.

Disclosure: Hedge has no relevant financial disclosures.

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