Why Invest in Ergonomics
For many companies, the implementation of a sound ergonomics program represents a significant investment.
Organizations often require a business case in order to justify such a solution. Toward this end, an effective ergonomics program can offer a positive return on investment (ROI) that is often many times the cost of executing the program.
By applying ergonomics to their work environments, companies can experience a ripple effect of the benefits. When a company takes a proactive approach to employee safety and well-being, employees take notice of this active stance on their wellness. They report higher levels of job satisfaction and show higher commitment levels. Employees’ positive reaction to this demonstrated care for their health yields a variety of benefits, such as decreased turnover rates and better work quality, as well as improved output, engagement and morale. When employees are more committed to a company, they are more productive and even display more initiative and effort in the tasks performed. As a result of higher employee engagement, satisfaction and productivity, the company projects an improved corporate image, which may lead to better community relationships and a more impactful brand.
A growing body of evidence suggests that the presence of an organizational-wide approach to health and wellness has long-term financial implications. The National Business Group on Health recently found that employers that have health and productivity programs are able to reduce disability days between 10% and 35%, improve return to work rates by at least 6% and experience an ROI ranging from 3:1 to 15:1.
Even in practice, ergonomics programs generate ROI for companies. As found by Bloswick, Sun Microsystems purchased adjustable task chairs and equipment, provided worker training and workstation assessments. Their average cost of musculoskeletal disorders claims dropped from $12,000 in 1992 to $2,500 in 2002, according to OSHA. Red Wing Shoes also implemented an ergonomics program with equipment modifications and experienced a drastic decrease in workers’ compensation costs, from $4.4 million to $1.3 million. Demby outlined case studies that demonstrate positive ROI, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, which implemented a comprehensive ergonomics program and saw a 70% reduction in lost workdays and 89% decline in workers’ compensation costs.
Both tangibly and intangibly, ergonomics programs can help organizations achieve their business objectives and goals. Learn more about Humanscale’s approach to ergonomics programs.