How it Works
The purpose of an ergonomic consultation is to develop a road map of future services that best fits the needs and goals of your company. Our highly-trained, certified ergonomists will review your loss history, operations and processes, equipment and tools. We’ll look at that along with your employee population to determine the most cost effective and efficient delivery of services from detailed workstation analysis to employee training.
Next step: Select your highest risk tasks for an individual ergonomic workstation analysis and identify key ergonomic risk factors (e.g., force, posture and repetition) that can increase the likelihood of a worker developing a musculoskeletal injury. Your ergonomic specialist can help your company develop a plan for corrective action by suggesting either or both engineering or administrative controls.
Engineering controls typically involve physical changes or modification to a workstation, tool, or machinery. Example: A worker must reach into three parts bins to remove a bolt, washer and nut. The bins are placed flat on the workbench which forces the worker to reach into the bins by “flexing” the wrist. By simply tilting the back of the bins up, the worker can more easily reach into the bin with a straight or neutral wrist. The positive change in wrist posture reduces stress and fatigue while making the worker more efficient and productive. Engineering controls typically involve more planning and some cost to take the idea from the drawing board to practice. The biggest advantage to engineering controls is they tend to have the biggest impact because they eliminate risk factor versus relying on the worker to make the right choice.
Administrative controls typically involve changes to standard operating procedures, task or worker rotation or worker training and education. Example: Company A has identified through a claims review and workstation analysis that workers have a higher risk of lower back injury due to lifting. The items are not heavy nor do the workers lift them frequently. Company A decides that providing the workers with an on-site training class on properly lifting techniques and body mechanics is the most effective use of time and resources. Administrative controls tend to be less costly and are easier to implement into the organization. However, administrative controls alone may not have as big an impact on injury rates as engineering controls because the hazard of manual lifting still exists.
Once we have identified the areas of risk and worked together to develop a plan of action, we implement controls. Beacon specialists provide training to management and supervisors to develop a customized training program to educate staff on industry and site specific loss information, key ergonomic principles, risk factor identification, implementing controls, and more based on need.