If an employee were to get injured while working on the job site, many companies provide coverage for medical expenses incurred by that employee. Workers' compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment. The price of these claims can range anywhere from tens of dollars to well over $100,000. For this reason, companies have started viewing workers' compensation as a high-risk exposure. To help minimize workers' compensation claims, many risk management teams have implemented ergonomics programs. Ergonomics is the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capability of the working population. The goal of these ergonomics programs is to better prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). WMSDs account for 34% of all injury and illness cases requiring days away from work in 2012 (Nonfatal). By implementing cost-efficient ergonomics programs, companies are not only spreading awareness of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, but also creating a healthier work environment and happier workforce.
Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs).
WMSDs are musculoskeletal system and connective tissue diseases and disorders caused by bodily reaction (e.g., bending, climbing, crawling, reaching, twisting), overexertion or repetitive motion (Nonfatal). Examples of WMSD include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, arthritis, rotator cuff injuries, tennis elbow, trigger finger, muscle strains and lower back injuries (Prevention).
Ergonomic Risk Factors.
The majority of ergonomic risk factors are classified as physical or environmental risk factors (Risk). The following list of physical and environmental risk factors lead to WMSDs:.
- awkward postures.
- force of movements.
- pace of work.
- repetitiveness .
- work movements.
When assessing these risk factors, companies should keep in mind ergonomic product solutions that put emphasis on reducing the most claims for the cheapest price.