What is the Practice of Ergonomics?
The primary goal of Ergonomics is to ensure that both the task environment and the objects used to perform tasks and activities are optimally set up and organised for the individual’s body size, proportions, physical capacity and abilities.
What are the Benefits of Ergonomic Assessment?
- Minimise the risk of injury
- Optimise working comfort
- Optimise productivity
- Reduce stress and tension
What is involved in an Ergonomic Workstation Assessment?
There are 2 general assessment options: Short Set up Assessments and Comprehensive Individual Assessments. These are explained below:
Option 1 – Short Set up Assessments – This level of assessment will apply general ergonomic principles to an individual regardless of individual injury needs. There is no scope for taking musculoskeletal history or providing individualised recommendations.
Option 2 – Comprehensive Individual Assessments – This level of assessment will include taking a musculoskeletal and injury history and providing individualised and targeted recommendations in consideration of these as well as assistance and recommendation to adjust and optimise the existing workstation layout. It also involves the provision of ergonomic education designed to empower individuals with basic ergonomic knowledge for their ongoing and independent application to other workstations (e.g. home office, secondary office, hot desk etc.).
Which Assessment Option is Appropriate for my Organisation?
It is likely that most individuals will report a musculoskeletal injury history, however the currency of same will dictate which assessment option is required. It may be useful for staff to identify their needs in advance (short set up vs comprehensive assessment) in order to gain a better estimate of costs as a combination of both options is most appropriate across a workforce/team. Typically over 80% of the workforce will require a comprehensive assessment.
As a professional service team, we will endeavour to provide an efficient and cost effective assessment service at all times however we may decline to pursue a ‘short set up assessment’ if a significant musculoskeletal issue is reported. As our recommendations have economic and legislative implications for you as the employer, health and wellbeing implications for your staff and clinical integrity implications for us as the service consultants it is important that they are based on sound reasoning and judgement. Considering the functional impact of a current report of injury or discomfort and, determining the optimal management strategy for the individual, work environment and work processes undertaken, is therefore outside the scope of a short set up assessment.