What is an Ergonomic Assessment?
An ergonomic assessment is an analysis and audit of a workers workstation. An ergonomic assessment will ensure their work practises, posture and workstation set up are ideal. Any improvements in the work environment can reduce the chance of an injury, reduce costs and improve productivity.
What Happens During An Ergonomic Assessment and What Recommendations Are Made?
An ergonomic assessment can make a range of recommendations. Equipment that is outdated or inappropriate for the worker’s body shape, or type of work may be identified as needing to be upgraded. The position of the workstation will be assessed for glare and recommendations made to fix any lighting problems. A workflow audit may be included in the assessment to ensure a worker isn’t reaching for heavy files stored above their head regularly when they could be stored in a more suitable location.
What Equipment Can Reduce Workplace Injuries?
There’s a wide range of ergonomic equipment now available to help reduce the risk of workplace injuries.
If you’re still using a standard office phone and using your neck and shoulder to hold it while you type, you could be damaging the muscles. Musculoskeletal injuries of the shoulder and neck are notoriously painful and can take significant time to heal.
More people now than ever are working off laptops rather than desktops. A laptop computer is far more convenient for moving between the office, home and car; but using a laptop computer on its own isn’t ideal for long-term use. A laptop screen is lower compared to a desktop. Instead of looking straight ahead, your eyes and neck are angled down. A laptop stand and separate keyboard will raise your screen to the correct viewing position and help you avoid a potential musculoskeletal injury.
Not everyone is tall enough to sit comfortably at a standard height desk and not have their feet sit flat on the floor. If that’s you, request an ergonomic footrest to promote healthy circulation and improve your comfort level. Swap your phone for a headset, so you can keep your head facing forward and your neck straight instead of being bent at an awkward angle. The headset also allows your shoulders to say relaxed and level. A headset also allows you to leave your workstation and walk 150 metres away from the charging station so you don’t feel tied to your chair. Headsets can protect your hearing from loud noises and block out background noise.
Some workers suffer from aching arms and elbows after long periods at a desk. An ergonomic forearm support attached to your desk provides padding and comfort all day. Forearm supports can also help with training your arms to sit at the correct angle. There are supports designed to provide comfort to other parts of the body including a variety of wrist supports and back supports. Supports can help with returning to work after an injury.
Not all office chairs are the same because not all bodies and jobs are the same shape and size. An assessment may reveal you need a small office chair or heavy duty chair. The type of job you do may determine the type of chair you need such as a control room chair, task chair or executive chair.
Finding just the right chair for you is important for your comfort and safety. If you need more information about ergonomic chairs, see our Ergonomic Office Chairs Buyers Guide – Part 1, Ergonomic Chairs Buyers Guide Part 2 – Task Chairs and Ergonomic Chairs Buyers Guide Part 3 – Mesh Chairs.
Can An Ergonomic Assessment Help if I’m Already Injured?
It’s never too late for an ergonomic assessment. Unfortunately, many people have their first assessment after they’ve suffered an injury when an earlier assessment could have prevented it.
Whether you’re returning to work following an injury and therapy or you want to ensure you don’t make an injury worse, an ergonomic assessment can identify areas of your workstation that need improving.
If you need assistance with choosing the right ergonomic equipment following an assessment, visit the Ergolink showroom, call us on (08) 9240 7066 contact an expert at Ergolink.