Through a series of benchmarking studies conducted over the past 10 years, Humantech has identified five major barriers to successfully managing workplaceergonomics. In a new e-book, Five Mistakes Companies Make with Ergonomics, Ergonomics Engineer and Humantech Vice President Walt Rostykus boils down the following mistakes made by companies of all sizes, industries, and locations:
• A focus on the wrong goal. According to Rostykus, many companies focus on the consequence (injury) rather than the cause (exposure).
• An unsustainable approach. Some organizations take a programmatic view of ergonomics and require a laundry list of elements to be in place. Rostykus says, “Companies should align ergonomics with existing improvement processes.”
• A Narrow View. The majority of companies in the benchmarking study viewed ergonomics as a safety discipline, with a goal towards preventing injuries. This view limits the understanding and prevents companies from achieving the full benefit of incorporating workplace improvements.
• Ineffective and inconsistent tools. Many companies in the study were found to be using qualitative tools for conducting ergonomic assessments. Such tools (like checklists) are good for screening the workplace to determine if an ergonomic issue might exist, however, according to Rostykus, quantitative tools provide more valid data.
• A failure to check. Most organizations focus on conducting assessments, but fail to conduct follow-up assessments. According to Rostykus, “Checking, or verifying that a change to the workplace has been effective, is a major step in the continuous improvement process. A failure to close the loop will prohibit sustained success.”
This e-book applies these lessons to discuss ways to improve how people work.