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Climate change in the office can minimize injuries and costs
When you own a company, you are uniquely positioned to make decisions that benefit your profit margin, and at the same time, your employees. But it’s actually their position – literally – that may be challenging the balance of your bottom line.
Experts say that an ergonomically designed workplace minimizes injuries and mitigates resulting business expenses such as a workers’ comp claim or absenteeism.
The basic principle is that office furniture and equipment should be designed and arranged so that staff members have a safe, efficient space in which to work. And employers who design their businesses with ergonomics in mind are providing an office that’s, in effect, customized to the comfort and needs of the employees.
The result is a benefit to the business owner in four ways:
- Minimizes workers’ compensation claims
- Saves money through a reduction in injuries and absenteeism
- Increases corporate morale and staff productivity
- Improves employees’ long-term health and welfare
According to labor statistics, musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs, cost employers more than $20 billion a year due to employee absences, insurance claims and medical costs. Patients may develop conditions over time which can affect muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and nerves.
But when you dismiss the potential for problems you can suffer greater losses, even indirectly, when you have unexpected hiring expenses due to employee absence and the loss of productivity when a worker gets injured.
Examples of proper ergonomics include eye-level placement of computers to reduce neck strain and the use of office furniture with support for the lumbar region of the back. Some of the factors cited by risk management experts are room temperature, movement repetition and posture, which can each be addressed.
The first symptoms commonly experienced by patients with MSD are pain, fatigue and discomfort. You’re wise to assess the physical abilities of your workers to become aware of people’s limitations and unique characteristics of different employees as well.
Threats to the health and well-being of your employees can also threaten the health of your company; ergo, it pays to recognize the importance of staff wellness.
If it’s time for some climate change, the office politics will likely support it. Because who doesn’t like upgraded workstations and new furniture?