The latest edition of the Indiana Department of Labor’s newsletter featured an article written by Draper’s Safety and Wellness Director. Linda Brinson’s piece for “Indiana Labor” detailed one of Draper’s latest efforts surrounding employee health and workplace safety: ergonomics.
We think Linda’s article deserves wider circulation, so here it is!
Like most companies, Draper’s #1 work injury is strain. Besides repetitive motion and lifting, the average age of our employees is the mid 40’s. Due to this, we decided to implement an ergonomic program at our facility in an effort to help our employees prevent strains and reduce work injury.
Several members from our safety committee formed an ergonomics (ergo) team to study the various jobs and tasks required at our company. The ergo team went through special training offered by our workers compensation insurance provider to help us better understand ergonomics and ways to improve.
Some of the things we learned and implemented:
- Analyze tasks in jobs and make recommendations to prevent strain, such as reducing repetitive motion.
- Analyze work surface size and shape, adjustability, storage, etc.
- Analyze workstation height adjustment and equipment.
- Determine if lifting equipment is needed and install it whenever possible.
- Train and monitor employees regarding good work habits.
- Pre-shift and during shift stretches.
This year our plan is to broaden the training to include pre-shift stretching for our employees. To do this, we partnered with Mark Middlesworth, owner of Ergonomics Plus. Mark not only helps with the ongoing ergo assessments, but also trains employees on pre-shift stretching.
It is still too early in this program to notice a monetary return on investment (ROI), but our employees have noticed an improvement, and that’s already a great return.