As Missouri employers and employees brace for the new state workers compensation law due to go into effect in January, the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Missouri members suggest employers and employees look at reducing workplace musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) to help reduce workers compensation costs. MSDs, often a result of repetitive motion, are the single largest occupational safety and health problem in the U.S. according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and a major problem in Missouri.
To reduce the growing number of MSDs in the workplace, ASSE urges employers to develop and implement effective ergonomic systems as part of their overall safety and health efforts in the workplace. An initial investment in ergonomic programs removes barriers to quality, productivity and human performance by fitting products, tasks, and environments to people. This also reduces costs and can save companies millions. These systems can also apply to the home office.
“Increased productivity, reduced workers’ compensation and health claims and a decline in the number of lost work-days are just a few of the benefits realized,” C. Christopher Patton, CSP, ASSE Regional Vice President, of St. Louis, said today. “Efficient ergonomic systems are a valuable asset for business and at the same time increases the ability of the U.S. to compete in a rapidly changing global market.”
ASSE member Lawrence J. Schulze, PhD, P.E., CPE, associate professor at the University of Houston Department of Industrial Engineering and international speaker on ergonomics, notes that there is no one-size-fits all approach to ergonomics, “However, in addition to these tips, it is key to train your employees in ergonomics to provide them with the skills, knowledge, abilities and tools aimed at reducing ergonomic injuries.”
ASSE recommends the following tips aimed at increasing safety and comfort in the workplace and in the home office: