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ERGONOMICS WORK-PLACE PROGRAM

Work can be either sedentary or physically demanding work. Prolonged static postures, manual lifting and other tasks involving the repositioning of objects are associated with an increased risk of pain and injury to the worker, particularly to the neck, back, shoulder and upper limbs. These tasks can entail high physical or static demands due to maintaining awkward postures or the large amount of weight involved. 

The Ergonomics Workplace program can also improve morale, reduce employee turnover, encourage longer employee service and discourage senior employees commencing early retirement. Workplace changes based on ergonomic principles may also lead to increased productivity by eliminating unnecessary motions, reducing fatigue and increasing employee efficiency. Healthier workers, better morale, and higher productivity can also contribute to better customer service.

 

Many of the work-related injuries experienced, will most probably be musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) related.  MSDs include conditions such as lower back pain, sciatica, rotator cuff injuries, epicondylitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. MSDs may also be caused partly or wholly by factors outside of work. Slip and fall can result in injuries such as sprains, contusions, factures, and hematomas.

 

STO recommends that employers utilize the process to systematically address ergonomics issues in their facilities, and incorporate this process into an overall program to recognize and prevent occupational safety and health hazards. This process and program can be done in various phases. Starting with the high risk areas first. 

We are able to assess employees and their occupations in order to provide employers with a Job Classification Manual and Ergonomics Program for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders.  Guidelines to employers provide practical recommendations to help employers and employees reduce the number and severity of injuries in their workplaces. 

 

Ergonomic Risk factors with regards to the person and environment should be assessed to ensure that the recommendations can reduce or eliminate exposures to these ergonomic risk factors in the effort to reduce workplace injuries and work dissatisfaction. The most important factors to assess are awkward postures and static postures, worker loads and the worker’s physical suitability to perform job requirements. 

1. ASSESMENTS

INVOLVES EMPLOYEES

ERGONOMIC OPERATOR DISCOMFORT ASSESMENT

Employees are a vital source of information about hazards in their workplace.  STO will involve the Employees during the analysis; workers in division will be interviewed and be assessed to gain relevant information.

IDENTIFY PROBLEMS

ERGONOMIC ENVIROMENTAL RISK ASSESMENT

STO recommends that an initial Job Classification and Ergonomic Risk Assessment is done, where all job environments, tasks, postures and movements are captured and analyzed, where all potential risks / hazards are formally identified and documented.  Aspects that will be assessed are: Force, Repetition, Forceful exertion / motions, Localised contact stresses, Impulse loading, Awkward and static postures, Temperature extremes , Vibration, etc.  Whether certain work activities put an employee at risk of injury depends on the duration (how long), frequency (how often), and magnitude (how intense) the employee’s exposure to the risk factors involved in the activity.  During analysis, STO will assess the probability (Exposure) towards a position or movement, defining the consequence of the exposure on the worker’s health, and will thereby determine the Health risk. 

Following our Ergonomic Risk Assessment, we will recommend solutions that the Employer should consider  in the context of the work process to ensure that the solutions can be implemented successfully in a particular workplace to reduce injures.  All our recommendations will be socially, technically and financially possible.

 

The guidelines will also present recommendations for changing equipment, workstation design, or work methods with the goal of reducing work-related injuries, and increase productivity at the same time.

2. RECOMMENDATIONS & TRAINING 

PROVIDE TRAINING

ERGONOMIC PREVENTION EDUCATION & TRAINING

Training is critical for employers and employees to safely use the solutions identified in these guidelines. STO also recommends that management and supervisory staff who coordinate and direct ergonomics efforts receive training in order to provide them with the knowledge to effectively carry out their responsibilities.

IMPLEMENT SOLUTIONS

RISK PROFILE & CORRECTIVE
RECOMMENDATIONS  

 Potential solutions for various concerns will be available in the Ergonomic Solutions guideline document. Early intervention is an effective method of handling potential injuries. Medical treatment and possible work restrictions could be necessary, but attention should be paid to addressing the root cause of problems early to avoid unnecessary absenteeism, medical costs and skill losses. 

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