Pushing, pulling and lifting are the three tasks most frequently performed by American workers. Overexertion during the execution of these tasks is responsible for 25% of all workplace injuries in the U.S., according to the National Safety Council. In fact, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that one in every 200 workers suffers an overexertion injury. Annually, these musculoskeletal injuries cost U.S. business over $1 billion in direct compensation costs and more than 12 million lost workdays.

Repeated studies have proven that ergonomically-designed equipment can significantly decrease costly musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace. Ergonomics is the science of adjusting the equipment to the size and capabilities of the worker. Ergonomics emphasizes worker safety and comfort with the goal of reducing worker fatigue, discomfort and injury. The use of ergonomic equipment allows businesses to maximize the efficiency and productivity of their workforce while protecting workers’ health and safety.

The consequences of neglecting ergonomics are staggering. Workplace injury and illness cost U.S. businesses $171 billion annually, more than cancer or heart disease, the country’s two biggest killers. According to the American Medical Association, more than 13.2 million workers a year suffer a non-fatal workplace injury, many of them preventable musculoskeletal injuries.

Statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor reveal that workers’ compensation claims cost U.S. businesses $60 billion a year. More than 50% of those claims are for back injuries caused by pulling, pushing or lifting, tasks, according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance. One in five disabling workplace injuries affects the lower back. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1.75 million U.S. workers each year succumb to a back injury that involves lengthy and costly medical and rehabilitation treatment, in addition to a considerable number of lost workdays.

Utilizing ergonomically-designed motorized carts and powered movers to assist workers with pushing, pulling and lifting tasks can save a business thousands of dollars — $4 for every dollar invested, according to a 2008 study reported in the New Hampshire Business Review — in decreased medical, insurance and disability costs resulting from musculoskeletal injuries. DJ Products, a national leader in the manufacture of ergonomically-designed electric carts and movers, specializes in providing affordable ergonomic solutions to material handling applications. For more information, visit the DJ Products website.