High EH&S Consulting Ltd. can provide a wide range of ergonomic evaluation, training and organizational services. Poor ergonomic arrangements can impact productivity, quality and safety.
Risk factors for ergonomic disorders include:
- Awkward postures
- Forces that exceed safe ranges
- Segmental vibration
- Cold work environments
OSHA's approach to ergonomic disorders was to pass a regulation that was administratively very cumbersome. This rule (29 CFR 1910.900) was dropped as a result of meritus opposition by business and industry and the use of the congressional review act. OSHA has been issuing industry specific guidelines in lieu of regulations since this time. Industries are expected to follow these guidelines and OSHA can use the general duty clause 5(a)(1) to cite employers that fail to comply or address ergonomics in their workplaces.
Regardless of the potential for OSHA compliance issues, many organizations recognize that ergonomic improvements represent a solution to a significant component of workers' compensation costs and occupational injuries. It is not uncommon to find 40% of the injury costs to be associated with ergonomic-related disorders. Additionally, ergonomic solutions often have an additional benefit of improving efficiency and production.
High HE&S Consulting can evaluate your workplace or your products for ergonomic hazards using recognized qualitative, semiquantitative and quantitative techniques. We utilize evaluative approaches to ergonomics such as the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health's lifting equation, the Strain Index, Liberty Tables, RULA, REBA and ACGIH's TLVs. While we provide a comprehensive review of your workplace or product, we also develop options for correcting any identified risk factors.
There are two basic approaches to ergonomics. One requires a technical expert who performs an analysis of the workplace for ergonomic exposures using quantitative tools. When ranges are identified that exceed recognized "safe" levels, control measures are developed. This method is fine until something in the process or job changes. The other approach is a bit less scientific and is analogous to "if it hurts, don't do it". This approach uses some common sense awareness by those who are implementing the program. By identifying risk factors, a group can address potential problems without quantitatively measuring them. The downside of this approach is that prioritization of risk exposures may be a bit more random. By blending both of these approaches, the best of both worlds can be achieved. High EH&S Consulting can assist your company in developing a written ergonomics program, organize ergonomics committees, train workers, develop early medical intervention programs, and even develop employee exercise regimes. We can support your ergonomics process with technical expertise when it is needed. By addressing the risk factors, we can make a significant difference in reducing ergonomic-related injuries.
Training for supervisors, safety personnel, safety committees and ergonomic teams can heighten awareness of the importance of ergonomic issues. Because many occupational injuries are related to ergonomic problems, we find that individuals tasked with investigating these events are missing the tools and knowledge to identify and evaluate risk factors. The resulting accident reports lack root cause analysis and more importantly effective corrective actions. High EH&S consulting can train your staff in methods of investigating ergonomic injuries, so effective interventions are developed and improvements in workplace safety and health is achieved.