The Importance of Industrial Ergonomics: Improving Performance and Safety


The Importance of Industrial Ergonomics: Improving Performance and Safety
By Muhamad Ghazi Athira

Industrial work can be physically demanding and present several ergonomic risks. Organizations can, however, ensure that their workers work in a safe setting with a low risk of injury or weariness by implementing an industrial ergonomics training program. 

Ergonomics for industrial workers is concerned with fitting a job’s requirements to human physical needs, and it is a critical component of workplace safety and health. Employers can lower the risk of work-related sickness and injury by implementing industrial ergonomic concepts into workstation and equipment design.

Implementing ergonomic techniques in industrial settings is critical for lowering the risk of musculoskeletal illnesses in high-risk industries like construction and food processing. Workers can avoid on-the-job illness and injury by following ergonomic principles, and their job satisfaction can be increased by implementing measures that provide a higher level of comfort and safety.

Industrial ergonomics training programs aim to reduce the risk of work-related accidents while also increasing employee productivity and morale through well-being. Ergonomic training guarantees that everyone understands how to implement ergonomic concepts in their everyday work routines. Employers can provide ergonomic training to promote a safer and more comfortable work environment, resulting in higher job satisfaction and productivity. Overall, knowing industrial ergonomics and its significance is critical for fostering a safe and productive workplace.

There are various components to an efficient industrial ergonomics training program. These include identifying and assessing ergonomic risk factors, teaching workers and supervisors on ergonomic principles and practices, putting in place engineering and administrative controls to limit ergonomic risks, and reviewing the overall program’s performance.

In addition, OSHA recommends that a successful ergonomics training program include the identification of workplace risk factors, job analysis methods, control measure implementation and evaluation, and cooperation skills.

Other critical components of an effective ergonomics training program are management commitment and involvement, worker involvement and participation, and continuous safety evaluation and improvement.

It is critical to identify and assess ergonomic hazards in the workplace because they can result in musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), a leading cause of work-related disability. Once these dangers have been identified, it is critical to analyze their potential impact on worker health and safety.

Here are some common ergonomic risks to look out for in the workplace.

1. Heavy Lifting
Heavy lifting is the act of moving or transporting objects that are too heavy for a person to properly move without help, resulting in strains and other injuries.

2. Poor Posture
A body’s position is not properly aligned while sitting, standing, or performing tasks, resulting in muscle tension and joint discomfort.

3. Slips and Falls
Accidents caused by slipping or tripping on a wet, uneven, or cluttered surface can result in sprains, fractures, or head damage.

4. Repetitive Motion Injuries
Injuries that are caused by continuously executing the same actions, such as typing or using a tool, which can cause strain and damage to muscles, tendons, and nerves over time.

5. Poor Lightning
Insufficient lightning in the workplace can cause eye strain, headaches, and other vision issues, as well as accidents and mistakes can occur.

Once the risks have been identified, suitable steps should be made to mitigate or eliminate them. This could involve modifications to job design or working conditions, such as better lighting or tools.

Implementing industrial ergonomics in the workplace is a systematic approach to creating work environments, jobs, and equipment to accommodate people’ skills and constraints. Here is a list of steps to successfully integrate industrial ergonomics:

1. Design Ergonomic Workstations
Customize workstations to meet the anthropometric traits and preferences of each employee. Adjustable seats, desks, and monitor stands enable employees to maintain neutral postures, lowering their risk of musculoskeletal problems.

2. Monitor and Adjust
Continuously monitor the effectiveness of ergonomic treatments and elicit input from employees to identify areas for improvement. Adjust ergonomic solutions as needed to meet changing job needs and evolving ergonomic dangers.

3. Implement Workstation Adjustments
Encourage employees to make ergonomic changes to their workstations, such as altering chair height, keyboard tilt, and monitor position, to achieve maximum comfort and efficiency.

4. Provide Training
Educate personnel on ergonomic principles, proper body mechanics, and the significance of keeping excellent posture. Training sessions can also cover how to adjust workstations, use ergonomic equipment, and complete duties safely.

5. Optimize Tool and Equipment Design
Change to an ergonomic tool and equipment to reduce physical exertion and discomfort. Ergonomic hand tools, lifting assistance, and motorized equipment can all help workers’ bodies feel less strain while performing jobs.

Overall, industrial ergonomics is essential for creating a safe, efficient, and sustainable work environment where employees can thrive and contribute to the success of the organization. By investing in ergonomic principles, companies can achieve significant improvements in performance, safety, and employee well-being.

Safety By Design. (2023, June 8). The Importance of Industrial Ergonomics Training.