Have you ever considered getting into ergonomics to offer your clients another in-demand service? Well, the unique thing about ergonomics is that it can be simple to start because it’s already in line with most Healthcare Professionals’ expertise and experience.
Note: just because something is "simple" doesn't mean that it's easy! However, the barrier for entry with ergonomics is a lot more simple for office ergonomics compared to industrial ergonomics.
I'm going to share some perspectives on why it's best to start with office ergonomics. If you’re new to the ergonomics risk assessment world, you might glean some useful take-aways to improve your process and what you'll need to consider to start generating revenue for your ergonomics services.
Whether you want to get into ergonomics to make additional revenue on the side or this is something you want to do full-time, this post is for you!
There’s a lot of exciting news that I want to share with you about my program Accelerate, one of them is that I just added an industrial ergonomic resource. What this means is any ergonomics tool that you might use for industrial assessments is all there for you to check out. You can access these industrial ergonomic assessment tools with supportive literature in the Accelerate program. All you need to do is to sign up for the waitlist.
This means that Accelerate now FULLY supports both Office AND Industrial Ergonomics.
Industrial ergonomic assessments are very useful and valuable, especially because a lot of the folks that are interested in my podcast, blog, and programs are either already doing it or they have a desire to include it in what they're doing professionally.
In order to add industrial ergonomics into your service offering, it often just requires a simple tweak to what you're already doing. In saying that, I truly believe that the best way to understand the whole ergonomic process and start building your expertise in the field is through office ergonomics. This is because, with office ergonomic assessments, consultations, and training, there’s a low barrier of entry to get started. Why do I say so? Let’s take a look at the variables that you need to consider to get started with industrial ergonomics:
When doing industrial ergonomic assessments, there's certain equipment that are required. Some of the key equipment you need in a typical industrial job is: a force transducer to measure force, a scale to measure the load that the workers are lifting, a push-pull dynamometer to measure muscle strength, and a stopwatch to measure repetition and get cycle length.
There are 3 main risk factors to the development of a work-related musculoskeletal disorder, this is true for office and industry. These risk factors are force, duration, and posture. Acquiring equipment is an investment, but it’s crucial in identifying what type of ergonomic risk in industry.
The reason why these tools are essential is that it goes along with the industrial ergonomic risk assessment tools. So not only do you need to know how to effectively choose the appropriate tool, but you also have to make sure that what you're measuring is accurate and it’s a good representation of what the worker is going through in their day.
Of course, when you're bringing in another piece of equipment to the system, that’s another source of potential error. To make sure that you’re taking the right measurements, you need to get the equipment calibrated annually. That’s one thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to industrial ergonomic risk assessments, so you can protect yourself in litigation.
Aside from investing in equipment, you must be proficient in the correct selection and use of ergonomic risk assessment tools. There are a variety of ergonomic risk assessment tools you can find nowadays. Some of the popular ones are the NIOSH Lifting Equation, the Snook Tables, Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA), and Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA). Depending on the scope of the project that you’re doing, you can select one (or more) of these tools.
Essentially, what you need to do is plug in your measurements into the ergonomic risk assessment tool. That will give you a result that will determine the priority of the recommendations and solutions that you provide for that specific job.
Office ergonomics is the best gateway if you’re looking forward to getting started in ergonomics. Now that we know the variables you need to consider when starting in industrial ergonomics, let’s compare them to office ergonomics. Aside from having a really firm foundation of the process, root cause analysis, and knowing how to measure, there's not a lot of tools you need to get started.
Compared to all the equipment and strategy that you need in industrial ergonomics, you essentially only need 3 things: a tape measure, a computer to write the reports, and an assessment tool. That’s really it. You usually have all those things already. You don't have to invest in a force transducer kit and scale when you’re just getting started.
Although it may sound like getting into office ergonomics is incredibly easy because the barrier for entry is low, you need to have a good understanding of the ergonomics principles to effectively prevent MSDs or manage return-to-work accommodations.
The process for the office ergonomics assessment process includes observing, taking measurements, identifying the root cause of the situation, and coming up with solutions based on that root cause. If we take a step back and look at the process used to identify the ergonomic risk in the industrial setup, it's actually the same process from what you'll learn when you get into office ergonomic assessments. Oftentimes, office ergonomics is just the gateway to provide other types of service deliverables. I hope that clarifies why office ergonomics is a really safe option to get started.
Perhaps you've realized that you want to add office ergonomic services to your career because it's in line with your expertise and background. Maybe the current economic situation has sparked something in you which encourages you to do something different.
Perhaps you’re ready to jump in with two feet into ergonomics and provide excellent ergonomic services and add value to your community. Whatever your reason is, now is an exciting time to get into office ergonomic assessments. I hope that this post inspires you to take action.
If you’re looking for support in running your own ergonomic consultancy, don’t hesitate to reach out! I teach Health Professionals and Ergonomic Consultants all the details about office ergonomic assessments, including what tools to use and how to get your first paying client. I’ve also just added industrial ergonomic assessment tools, so check that out if you want to do more complex ergonomic assessments in industry. All of these will be available for you this June 28, 2021, when I open the enrollment to my Accelerate program. Make sure to sign up to the waitlist so you’ll be the first one to know when I open the enrollment.
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