Many people don’t see the office as an unsafe place, but the truth is that workplace injury is one of the most common recurring issues among employees. A lot of workers who spend most of their time at a desk often experience symptoms like soreness in their neck, or stiffness in their lower back, which can affect their well-being and efficiency in the workplace. This is because oftentimes, workstations are not designed to suitably support the physical needs of the employees.
Nowadays, more and more people are doing remote work since many businesses around the world are sending their employees to work from home. However, being at home and not having a dedicated workstation can have an adverse effect. This may result in a potential increase in the number of people developing Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs).
This is where we, ergonomic consultants, come in. Our role is to help employers offer support to their employees in terms of improving their health and comfort in the workplace, or even help those people who work from home adjust to their new work environment. In the list below, I will show you what a modern ergonomic consultant looks like. This will give you an idea on how to best operate your business in today’s modern society.
As a modern ergonomic consultant, it is essential to have a foundation of competence to be able to provide low-cost and high-impact solutions to your clients. You have to be proficient and confident in doing office ergonomic assessments, as well as in implementing strategies that are beneficial to both employers and employees. You need to be qualified in assessing work spaces that will help improve your client’s comfort and productivity.
One of the biggest concerns that I often encounter from people who are getting into ergonomics is that they need to have a certain certification for them to be able to go forward with ergonomics. So, how can you become a proficient ergonomic consultant?
In order to earn a certification and be qualified as an ergonomic consultant, you need to have a degree in a related field, such as a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, or occupational therapy, or perhaps a master’s degree in ergonomics, or human factors engineering. Many healthcare professionals in those fields are already adding office ergonomics expertise to their profession. It is also of great value if you earn a board certification, especially from the one recognized by the International Ergonomics Association— the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics (BCPE). The BCPE is the most well-known in the world for having a gold standard. Aside from that, you can find various types of certifications out there. Any other certification that you see for a healthcare professional getting into ergonomics is what’s called a private-label course. This type of certification simply means that you can be certified in someone’s course that they teach, and that you’ve successfully passed their content.
However, if you want to move forward with ergonomics and improve your profession, I can tell you a better way to do so. The first thing you need to do is to get the standards on how to do ergonomics assessments, which may cost you a few $100. This is important because that’s what every ergonomic blueprint out there is based on. To ensure that you’re doing it correctly, you might want to cross-reference with OSHA and other resources. You can combine this by getting a mentor who can help you write the analysis and recommendation part in your reports.
I also offer certification that will help you streamline your ergonomic process, add deliverables that your client already needs, and show you how to land your ideal clients. If you’re interested to join, just click on this link.
Having that grounding in the core of ergonomics allows us to move forward and offer our clients other unique services. I’m of the mind frame that we can offer so much of a depth of service that is outside of what we usually offer our clients. There are a number of services that we can offer the employers that will help improve many aspects of how they operate their business. There is a huge opportunity for you if you combine your ergonomics expertise with your professional expertise.
You might have this concept that ergonomics is solely doing one-on-one office ergonomic assessments or training services. But in actuality, it goes much deeper than that. As a modern ergonomic consultant, you need to think outside the box. Especially these days, what we’re going to be treating is something that falls outside of that box. Maybe an employer needs help with accommodating an employee who hurt their back on the weekend and that person’s working from home, or they want a low-cost solution to help as many of their employees get better ergonomics and they don’t have a huge budget for it.
You should treat every new client you work with as a new experience. Of course, one solution does not apply for everyone because every person has different needs. That’s why as ergonomic consultants, it's essential that we approach every client with an open mind, address their issues, and then reverse-engineer our knowledge to provide them with a solution with the most likeliness for success. And then, the next thing you need to do is to build a long-term relationship with your ideal clients.
It is important to remember that when doing ergonomic consultation, we’re not just selling our services to push our business forward, but we’re also helping our ideal clients, organizations, or companies solve their challenges and improve their operation. When you see ergonomics in that perspective, you can think of a solution to any challenge that your organization may have. But of course, we have to build that relationship first. Once you establish the know, like, and trust with our clients, you’ll be the first on their mind when a bigger issue comes up. Furthermore, you can generate referrals, case studies, and testimonials from these long-term clients. These referrals will then open you to more opportunities for consultations that will help build your reputation, and really solidify you as the go-to person in your community to help with anything related to ergonomics.
So now, you have an idea of what a modern ergonomics consultant looks like. In today’s current situation where most people are working remotely, I believe that there is a need for more people to get into ergonomics. You can do a quick Google search to find out who else in your area is offering office ergonomic assessments. You’ll be surprised to find out that there’s not a lot of people offering these types of services, especially when you compare it to other healthcare professions out there. Additionally, since many employees are encouraged to work from home, this is a great opportunity for you to offer ergonomic consultation regarding proper home workstation setup to help them adapt to their new work environment. But don’t just limit yourself in doing virtual ergonomic consultations, you can try on-site office ergonomic assessment, or even in manufacturing. There are a plethora of services you can offer to people out there who may have no idea that someone in their community can help improve their well-being, and that is where the opportunity is for ergonomics in the future.
If you like this blog and want to learn how other healthcare professionals are already adding office ergonomic expertise to their services, I have a training for you. Get started today by clicking on this link.
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