According to OSHA, ergonomics is defined as, “The science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population.” So at its core, workplace ergonomics is about designing a workplace in a way that would result in a better work environment and excellent work being produced. If the physical capacity of the employees and their equipment are unsuitable to the physical needs of their job, then workers can be exposed to Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). However, ergonomics can help prevent these injuries. Ergonomic principles, if adhered to, can help eliminate the risk of injuries and discomfort of employees working in computers, or in jobs requiring repetitive motions.
Whether you’ve been working as an Ergonomic Professional for a number of years or you’re a newbie to the field, you might be wondering how to best position your services to attract more clients. Well, actually there are several angles that your clients or your prospects might be looking for so that you can have an entry point to start your relationship. And the point that I want to share is that your entryway could be that of safety in ergonomics, whether or not the company you’re working with is compliant with OSHA or with other health and safety agencies that's present in your country. There's so much opportunity for us if we know how to use this messaging and deliver this in a way that’s aligned with what our clients are looking for. So in this blog, I’m going to talk about safety in ergonomics, specifically, if there is an ergonomic law that we need to be looking at and communicating to.
One major point that I want to share with you based on my experience is that ergonomic programs always come in the later stages of a safety intervention. So when an organization requires safety, they address the low-hanging fruit first. This could mean that a safety consultant would go in and set up a safety program, teach them how to set up their process, and may even audit their joint occupational health and safety committees. And only when the organization is at a certain level of readiness would be the most effective point to implement an ergonomics program. An ergonomics program is another way that you can think of continuous improvement and enhancing operations, and it's typically delivered in the later steps of safety intervention.
Keep that in mind when you're marketing ergonomics. Sometimes when looking to start a relationship with your client, they’ll often call you in mainly to "put out fires". For instance, if there's a workers’ compensation claim, you'll need to assist the employer throughout all the steps of the claim handling process. Your expertise will be needed in providing effective recommendations that will help reduce workers’ compensation costs and improve the employee experience. It's only after that they might be open and ready to have a more related process since in my opinion, effective ergonomics initiatives have the foundation in a robust safety system.
To enhance the whole employee experience of an organization, it's going to take a systematic process. If you assist them beyond injury management, it’s not only going to be benefiting our clients and our organization, it's going to be benefiting our bottom line and revenue-generating activities as well.
To be clear, there are no specific OSHA standards that apply to computer workstations, or extremely low-frequency electric and magnetic field exposure. However, workers have a right to safe and healthful workplaces. OSHA has also made it clear that even in the absence of a specific industry guideline, employers can still be cited for a violation of the General Duty Clause. The General Duty Clause under the OSHA Act of 1970 requires employers to keep workplaces free from recognized and serious hazards, including ergonomic hazards. This regulation is something that we can leverage in our marketing. Since OSHA encourages employers to apply effective programs, you can offer your services by helping them implement engineering and administrative control measures to mitigate ergonomic hazards.
Below are the 7 steps that you can be communicating to both your prospects and clients to determine if they are compliant with Health and Safety Law.
Each one of those steps can have one of your deliverables attached to it, and you can provide all of these value-added solutions to your clients. I encourage you to pick up these steps and run with it because as Ergonomic Professionals, we have so much value to offer business.
All we have to do is to share the message that we have this service that can help them ensure that they’re complying with the Health and Safety Law.
The real key to get the clients that you love working with is to learn how to communicate the message in a way that's aligned with where they want to take their organization. If we can do that successfully, then we know that not only do we have a lot of opportunities to leave a positive impact, but we'll also be able to have the revenue-generating activities that we need to have as business owners.
And that’s it. I hope this blog gave you an idea on how to best leverage safety in ergonomics. If you’re interested to learn how other healthcare professionals are successfully adding their ergonomic expertise to their services, you can check out this free training. For more information, click on this link.
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