Incorporating ergonomic solutions into your food processing work stations is a great way to reduce the risk of employee injuries and promote a safe and healthful workplace. A small investment in ergonomic equipment will save you thousands in preventable injuries – but it’s only a start.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers, and that requires more than just equipment. Implementing an ergonomic process will not only reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders, but will also educate your workforce on how best to prevent injuries themselves.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recommends including the following in your ergonomic process:
- Provide Management Support: Management should define clear goals and objectives for the ergonomic process, discuss them with their workers, assign responsibilities to designated staff members, and communicate clearly with the workforce.
- Involve Workers: Allow workers to voice their concerns and suggestions for reducing exposure to risk factors and assist in developing solutions. After all, they have a better idea of what tasks create the biggest risks.
- Provide Training: Management should provide training for all employees on how to best utilize ergonomic solutions to reduce their risk of injury.
- Identify Problems: This is a key part of your ergonomic process and will result in practical solutions to reduce risk. Hiring a professional to perform an ergonomic assessment is a great way to identify the risks in your work place.
- Encourage Early Reporting of MSD Symptoms: Developing and encouraging a way for employees to report MSD symptoms early will help to prevent or reduce the progression of symptoms, the development of serious injuries, and resulting lost-time claims.
- Implement Solutions to Control Hazards: This is the stage where ergonomic solutions, such as equipment, is implemented to reduce the risk of employee injuries. Fusion Tech offers a number of custom ergonomic solutions for food processing plants.
- Evaluate Progress: Setting up a periodic evaluation of the ergonomic solutions you implemented will help to determine if your goals have been met and where additional solutions need to be incorporated.
When these processes are implemented into the regular life of your processing plant, you will see the risk of employee injury drop – and the high cost of employee injury avoided.
You can learn more about implementing an ergonomic process in your plant by visiting the OSHA website.