Among the myriad workplace safety concerns in California is one that might easily be overlooked: ergonomics. Ergonomics involves designing the environment to work naturally with human physiology. Companies at the beginning stages of ergonomics planning might want to find ergonomics awareness training to educate employees on ergonomic concepts and practices. Incorporating ergonomics will create a safer and more productive work environment, and it is a legal responsibility in California.
Injuries in the workplace can lead to significant physical and economic hardships for employees as well as financial burdens for the company. Repetitive use injuries might begin as minor inconveniences, but they can become debilitating and lifelong conditions if not properly treated. More traumatic injuries, such as a back injury from lifting too heavy a box without proper support, can put an employee out of commission for lengthy time periods and lead to worker’s comp claims or lawsuits for the company. Ergonomic design can significantly reduce the impacts injuries have for employees and companies.
Designing an environment that is alignment with how the body functions significantly reduces the physical stress employees experience with ill-designed equipment and processes. Building in times for movement and stretching keeps circulation going and increases focus and alertness. These types of factors not only keep employees safer, but they also increase employee productivity through more comfortable spaces and opportunities to rejuvenate during short breaks.
Fulfills Legal Responsibility
California law requires companies to include ergonomics within the workplace. Training employees in ergonomics also meets the standards set in regulations for employee safety training. The state’s standards set strict guidelines for the work environment, and it is each company’s responsibility to ensure that they are complying with the legal standards.
Employees have a right to expect safe environments. Ergonomics is a concept and a practice that cannot be overlooked. It not only reduces work injuries and increases employee productivity, but it is also a business’s legal responsibility.