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Motion Control Engineering & Manufacturing Resources

Tips for Implementing Ergonomics in the Workplace

Posted by Weber Knapp on Oct 20, 2021 2:33:19 PM
Ergonomics in the Workplace

We’ve all heard of the nightmare situations that improper ergonomics and training can bring to the workplace -- whether it’s chronic pain for your workers, short staffing, or even costly workers comp claims, bad ergonomics can be a big hindrance to any business, regardless of industry. 

It’s no surprise that employees can’t do their best when their back, neck, or wrists are screaming in pain. Implementing proper ergonomics in the workplace can alleviate that pain and protect your employees and assets. 

If you’ve ever wondered how to implement ergonomics in the workplace, there are three main components to consider when choosing furniture and equipment:

  • Desks
  • Computer accessories (monitor arms and keyboard trays)
  • Hidden CPU and cable management storage

Whether you’re upgrading from a bad ergonomic design or imposing new technology, here are some tips on how to implement ergonomics in the workplace:
 

4 Components of An Ergonomic Workstation: 

Whether you’re in an office setting, hospital, hotel, or even at home, the best ergonomic workstations are designed from the ground up, including desk design, monitor/keyboard placement, and seating. Here are 4 ergonomic products every ergonomic workstation needs:

  • Sit-Stand Desks

A sit-stand desk that lets each user set a code for their ideal height saves time — as well as wear and tear on the sit-stand mechanism. No more wasted time spent fiddling with buttons looking for that elusive sweet spot!

  • “Hidden” Equipment

Whether it’s an under-desk keyboard mount, CPU holder, or cable management system, “hidden” ergonomic equipment can allow a user to stow their keyboard and mouse away when not in use, reduce clutter by having an integrated CPU holder and cable management system, and increases the useability of the workspace.

  • Monitor Arms

An ergonomic monitor arm allows users to position screens so they can see them easily without eye or neck strain. An articulating monitor arm ensures all shapes and sizes can work productively and happily. It also allows the user to adjust the monitor to the left or right as needed -- particularly useful for a dual-screen setup.

  • Keyboard Trays

It's important to maintain a negative tilt while typing. An ergonomic keyboard tray keeps an employee's arms, wrists, and hands properly aligned to reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

How To Implement Ergonomics Regardless of Your Industry:

Ergonomics is a key player in multiple industries. From medical and office workers to the manufacturing line, ensuring you have the right equipment can make a big difference. 

But not all ergonomic products are used equally - what works in the medical industry may not work for the shop floor or a hotel workstation. Let’s dive into different industries where ergonomics play a role and how to implement ergonomics in the workplace:

Medical Field Ergonomics 

As COVID took the world by storm, medical field workers gained the national spotlight for their incredible work. Most workers were working double shifts and were on their feet for the majority of that time. Now, more than ever, their workstations need to be conducive to the fact that they may be standing versus sitting when they’re typing out notes, sending in prescriptions, or even connecting via remote healthcare.

Incorporating sit-stand desks helps prevent doctors and nurses from craning/straining their necks and backs from constantly having to bend over to look at their computer screens. Retractable Keyboard Arms also allow these professionals to safely store their accessories away, opening up valuable workspace in the exam and hospital rooms. 

Office Ergonomics

Office ergonomics may not be a new topic, but integrating a proper ergonomic setup is still ever important to the health and productivity of your crew. 

Components of an Ergonomic Workstation

Ergonomic equipment in the workplace is important to reducing repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, or tendonitis. Sit-stand desks allow users to stretch and complete work when they start to slouch. Adjustable monitor arms and keyboard Arms allow for perfect positioning to reduce strain on the neck and back. Hidden features allow for a clean and organized workspace. 

Implementing ergonomic equipment in the workplace reduces the risk of costly workers comp claims and downtime (and don’t forget about your work-from-home employees too!)

Retail Ergonomics

Retail settings often see multiple workers utilizing the workspace, be it a check-out lane, customer service desk, or a different workstation. 

Integrating adjustable ergonomic equipment, such as monitor arms, keyboard arms, mouse trays, and CPU holders allows employees of all shapes and sizes to comfortably and efficiently use the equipment.  

Hotel Ergonomics

Hotel ergonomics is a dual-faceted term and should include ergonomic equipment for both your workers and guests. 

For front-desk employees or those working with computers, ensuring that you have adjustable keyboard arms and monitor mounts will ensure that the long hours spent sitting or standing at the desk doesn’t result in costly repetitive strain injuries. 

For guests of the hotel, be it remote workers or conference attendees, having a complete ergonomic set up in their rooms ensures they can still be productive and comfortable while traveling and away from the office. 

 

Manufacturing Ergonomics

A Manufacturing plants’ main concern is the safety of its laborers. Lack of, or improper ergonomic equipment can result in equipment damage, workers comp claims, increased machine and worker downtime, and an increased potential for lawsuits. Multi-user workstations and motion control devices should all be implemented in your manufacturing safety plan. 

Shared office computers, desks, CNC machines, or assembly stations are commonly used by many employees. Outfitting these with adjustable ergonomic manufacturing workstation seating and displays is essential since they need to accommodate many people. 

Installing motion control devices, such as counterbalances or spring-assist hinges, protects your workers and equipment by mitigating the weight of a heavy toolbox lid and controlling its motion. No more smashed fingers, dented lids, or muscle strains from trying to open or shut an 80lb lid.    

 

Proper Ergonomic Training 

Regardless of your industry, including proper ergonomic training in your workplace will ensure the ergonomic equipment wasn’t purchased in vain. Training your workers on the proper use of ergonomic equipment will maximize its ROI and further protect your workers from injuries and your business from costly lawsuits or workers comp claims.


Further Components of an Ergonomic Workstation

Regardless of your industry, training your employees to follow proper ergonomic techniques will reduce repetitive strain injuries, increase productivity, protect your investments, and overall protect your employees. For more ways on how to integrate ergonomics to create a safer, healthy workplace, check out our free Managers Equipment Guide ebook below: 

Manager's Equipment Guide

Topics: Ergonomics, Hospatility Furniture, Industrial, OSHA