“Ergonomics” is defined as the science of fitting the “work” to the worker. There are two main approaches to ergonomics: an engineer’s approach and an approach based upon the human movement system. While these two approaches have much in common, they are NOT the same. In short, an ergonomic assessment performed from an engineering mindset will tend to focus on major redesign and automation as the “fix” of any ergonomic risk factors and tends to carry a significant price tag. While it is very possible to “cost justify” a workplace redesign and/or automation and even improve on productivity in the process, HCE often can recommend “low cost / no cost” modifications that can yield the same outcomes. At HCE, we also believe that we should not ignore that fact that the “worker” should have functional abilities beyond what is physically required at work. If not, the work, no matter how ergonomically perfect, will continue to place inappropriate stress levels on the worker’s body, and ultimately can result in a musculoskeletal problem. HCE looks at your long term employee health, not just an instant in time. HCE has two primary ways to deliver our ergonomics program and underlying principles to you.
First, and most easy to implement, would be for HCE staff to perform each ergonomic analysis on your behalf. We would work with you to identify the areas that would benefit from an ergonomic analysis, perform the analysis, document our findings and recommendations and then work with you to see the recommendations through to full and complete implementation.
Secondly, HCE could train key members of your staff in our ergonomics process. This method is typically made up of both classroom and field instruction. HCE also helps your team organize the administrative processes that will govern the ergonomics program at your facility. If, at any time, your team requires the input or oversight of HCE on a particular ergonomic situation, we will be available to you. There are numerous benefits with this path of ergonomics implementation. With several of your key staff members and even first line production staff trained in the HCE ergonomics process, you will be equipped to evaluate any new workstations or issues that may come up in the future. The upfront cost of this method is typically less that having a team of HCE staff perform the work for you, however, you must commit the internal resources to get the job done. If you elect to become a member in our Small Group Program, you will learn how to develop your own ergonomics program that will contain the correct level of detail.