Issue: Repetitive-stress injuries didn't disappear just because OSHA's mandatory rules were repealed.
Risk: Ergonomic injuries hurt productivity and, surprisingly, you're still vulnerable to government penalties.
Action: Take the simple steps detailed below to avoid ergonomic injuries at little cost.
Ever since the Bush administration last year announced that it will encourage, but not force, organizations to reduce repetitive-stress injuries, many have wiped the topic off their radar screen. Bush's voluntary ergonomic guidelines are in stark contrast to the Clinton administration's strict mandatory standard that Congress repealed.
Our advice: Don't shrug off the issue. Ergonomic injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and back strains can hurt your productivity and increase workers' comp and health costs.
Plus, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can still use its "general duty clause" to issue fines and penalties if you ignore blatant ergonomic problems. Also, many states have their own ergonomic standards that you must follow.
For details on OSHA's voluntary guidelines, visit www.osha.gov/ergonomics.
6 ways to ease ergonomic pains
Employee education, plus a few low-cost moves can help avoid ergonomic injuries. Some examples:
- Â Keep tools and materials within easy reach to avoid constant stretching.
- Educate employees in proper lifting techniques: Bend at the knees and keep the load close to and in front of the body. Use two people to lift heavy items.
- Give protective equipment to employees, such as vibration-reduction gloves or carpet-layer's kneepads.
- For office workers, position computer monitors below eye level in front of them, tilted back and away like a book. Turn screens away from window glare.
- Use down-sloping keyboards and, when typing, extend wrists straight, not flexed up or down. Provide chairs with good lower-back support and adjustable height.
- Provide and encourage "microbreaks" to let workers move and stretch. Instruct them to massage hands and wrists occasionally.
Free Report: Ergonomic solutions for computer workers
Learn the proper use and positioning of chairs, keyboards, monitors and lighting in our E-visory report, Computer Workstations: Ergonomic Solutions. For a free copy, go to www.hrspecialist.net/extra.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/1734/dont-ignore-ergonomics-risks-remain-osha-can-still-fine "
- The dozen leave laws California employers must know
- You may have to agree to part-time schedule after employee returns from FMLA leave
- Does your violence policy address concealed-carry laws? It should
- Why is workers' comp telling us when our employee's FMLA leave should start?
- Lost in MySpace: Know the law before searching web for applicant info