With President-elect Obama and a Democratic Congress poised to enact tough ergonomic standards within the next year, we’ve been discussing the financial, production and personnel benefits of implementing an ergonomic program (see our Nov. 24 & 26 posts). Being proactive in creating a wellness-focused corporate climate will enhance your ability to compete in the future. Implementation of a strong ergonomic plan and a move to ergonomically-designed equipment has been proven to increase production efficiency and decrease healthcare costs.

The success of a comprehensive ergonomics plan is dependant upon the support of top management, the creation of demonstrable goals and measurable results, and, most critically, the provision of effective employee education and training coupled with strong program leadership.

Effective education, training and leadership. Thorough education and onsite training of employees is critical to the success of a new ergonomics program. Education about the features and processes of a new ergonomics initiative must be backed up with onsite training.

As workers become familiar with new features and practice new processes, the provision of adequate onsite supervision is critical. Workers need time to learn new skills and procedures and change long-established habits. Continuous supervision not only reinforces raining, but reveals areas that require adjustment. Ask your employees for input. People who perform the tasks often spot potential problem areas in new procedures and provide keen insight into productive solutions.

In an article published in New Hampshire Business Review, Mike Kind also recommends selecting a “champion” to spearhead a new ergonomics initiative. Designating a person with clear oversight over the program facilitates implementation of the original initiative and subsequent revisions. It creates a clear chain of command easily accessible by both management and workers. It centralizes the dissemination of information and collection of review data, improving analysis quality and speed.

A recognized industry leader in the design and production of ergonomically-designed material handling equipment, DJ Products provides a useful Ergonomic Load Calculator on our website. Created to assist ergonomic and health and safety professionals in designing ergonomic programs, our free calculator estimates the amount of horizontal force necessary to move wheeled loads. By inputting vital data about your specific application, including floor condition, terrain, footing, load weight and transport distance, our Ergonomic Load Calculator calculates the specific needs of a given application.

DJ Products’ ergonomic specialists are also available to assist you in evaluating your ergonomic needs. We’re the experts in finding creative solutions to ergonomic issues in the workplace. Give us a call today and let us help you position your business for the future.