The importance of ergonomics in the workplace cannot be understated. It affects everything from how you perform your job to the environment that you are working in. This is because while ergonomics is largely a science that deals with how the body works and what can be done to make it more comfortable and efficient, it also deals with things that you would normally not think about.
For instance, many jobs now require sitting for extended periods of time at a single position. Long hours of constant labor can lead to serious back problems and other bodily injuries. In fact, studies have shown that office workers that sit at a desk all day have much higher incidence of repetitive strain injury than those who do other types of work. Ergonomics has evolved over the past century from just a fancy word used to describe things that are related to how the human body works into a complete method of work design that takes into account both the worker’s physical needs and those of the place where they are working. Many employers consider this type of design when building a new workspace or remodeling an existing one.
The importance of ergonomics extends beyond the workplace. The average home has many spaces that are designed for comfort and ease of use, but few of these spaces have been properly ergonomically outfitted. Because these spaces are so closely related to the overall comfort of the people who use them, they too have the possibility for causing injuries if not appropriately built and maintained. Even the furniture we use in our homes can contribute to worker fatigue and injuries. This is why the importance of ergonomics can be seen in many places outside of the workplace, as well.
For example, sitting at a desk typing on a keyboard for several hours can have a number of negative effects on a worker. Not only can it cause fatigue and back pain, but it can also reduce the effectiveness of the person’s concentration and decrease their overall productivity. This is especially true if there are children in the home or other family members who are distracting the worker. Even a small distraction, such as a rattle or a paper falling from a nearby table can significantly decrease workers efficiency.
In addition to the dangers that can be caused by improperly fitted equipment, some workers may be vulnerable to injuries that are more difficult to prevent. Ergonomically designed chairs and workstations allow workers to perform their tasks with little discomfort. They are built in a way that helps to evenly distribute the weight of the body and decrease the number of workplace injuries. The most important factor is that these adjustments should be made whenever possible, especially with computers. If these adjustments are not made, the worker may be in danger of compensation from the employer.
Many types of work can benefit from ergonomic design. Some occupations such as those that deal with lifting large objects are greatly improved when computers and other technology are used. Workers who do a lot of printing and graphics work can also greatly benefit from a desk that is well designed and comfortable. Computer errors such as freezing and screens that are not repainted because of overheating can cause workers to become extremely fatigued and laid-back, both of which are highly detrimental to the productivity of the workplace.
There is an increased awareness of the importance of ergonomics today. Many workers wear ergonomically designed gear in the workplace to reduce the risk of injuries. This includes using computerized employee desks and other equipment. Some companies even have their entire production staff wear ergonomically designed glasses and gloves in order to conserve energy. The use of special work gloves is especially important for food preparation areas, because they help to avoid contamination of the hands by cutting down on the amount of touching of raw foods.
The importance of ergonomics cannot be underestimated. It can help ensure that workers get the proper compensation and that the workplace is a comfortable place to work. When properly designed and implemented, it can also prevent injuries and save money on healthcare costs.