Is your workplace causing you pain and discomfort? Your ergonomic set up could be the trigger for work related musculoskeletal disorders such as aching wrists, shoulders, neck and back pain.
With thousands of workers taking weeks of time off work every year to nurse a workplace injury, businesses are turning their attention to preventative measures like a workplace assessment. It reduces the risk of work related injuries, minimises sick leave, improves work efficiencies and boosts staff morale.
How can your business benefit from an ergonomic assessment?
The payoffs are many. But first, let’s quickly discuss what is ergonomics? Essentially it is the study of how people interact with their work environment and how the design of that environment can impact their health and well-being.
Take a look around your workplace. Is it cluttered? Is your desk and chair adjustable? Is the lighting so poor that you’re straining your eyes? Are you hunching right now reading this?
They are all signs of potential hazards that could be putting you at risk of injury.
If you’ve sustained a rotator cuff tear, you’re not alone
Rotator cuff tears are said to be the most common cause of shoulder pain.
Regardless of whether you’ve sustained an acute tear (through injury or trauma) or a chronic tear (gradually), sufferers describe the pain as a deep, dull ache in the shoulder. It can limit your ability to move your arm and prevent you from sleeping on the injured side.
Back to that workplace assessment….
A qualified physiotherapist can conduct a workplace occupational health or ergonomics evaluation to identify potential hazards or risk that could lead to musculoskeletal injuries.
By analysing the layout of your workspace and observing how employees move and interact with their environment, a physiotherapist can make recommendations for modifications that would improve safety and reduce the risk of injury.
The truth about workplace injuries
Almost 500,000 Australians sustained a work-related injury or illness in 2021-22. Of those people, 66% took time off work as a result.
Sprains, strains and dislocations accounted for the most common type of injury – most commonly caused by lifting, pushing, pulling or bending. The second most common type of injury was chronic joint and muscle conditions.
Also, two out of three people who experienced a work related injury or illness took some time off work. Those that sustained a fracture or broken bone took an average of 29 days off while chronic joint and muscle conditions accounted for 22 days off.
Wondering what the economic impacts are of those work related injuries? It’s simple, really. Absenteeism means productivity loss. A report commissioned by Safe Work Australia found if there were no work related injuries or illnesses, Australia’s economy would grow by a staggering $28.6 billion annually. That’s the equivalent of creating an extra 185,500 full-time jobs.
It’s all about working smarter
With the right ergonomics in place – like adjusting the height of work surfaces or ensuring equipment is properly positioned – employers can avoid the risk of short term injuries like neck and back pain developing into musculoskeletal disorders with long term consequences.
(Watch our short video for helpful tips on how to adjust your workspace to avoid neck and shoulder pain).
Similarly, if an employee is comfortable and able to work efficiently, their level of productivity increases, absenteeism drops and morale improves.
Schedule an assessment with our qualified physiotherapist for your workplace insights
Speak to us about booking a comprehensive ergonomic assessment of your workplace. We’ll give you practical recommendations to improve your employees’ health and posture.
Or ask us about our injury prevention program. We can assess the injury risk factors and implement strategies to reduce workplace injuries.