Ergonomics, Much More than Health and Safety!
The term Ergonomics was first used over 150 years ago, it is composed of two Greek words, Ergon meaning “work”, and Nomos meaning “law or custom”, essentially it is the “Custom of Work”. The very root of this term refers to how work is done. In the early 1900’s, the dawn of the industrial age, ergonomic concepts were developing, aiming to improve worker productivity by achieving efficiencies through improved job processes.
World War II created a strong interest in human and machine interaction, due to sophisticated and critical equipment (tanks and airplanes) being at risk of compromise. Hence, the idea of fitting the machine to the size of the operator (soldier in this case) evolved . It was realized, that risk was reduced significantly by making it easy to reach and operate, controls and buttons. After World War II, the focus of ergonomics added worker safety.
Today, ergonomics is synonymous with “Human Factors”, and it “applies theory, principles, data and methods to design, in order to optimize human well- being and overall system performance” . By allowing the body to move or function in a manner that is natural to its specific characteristics, we improve efficiency and increase productivity, increase quality and reduce the risk of injury, hence creating a safer process. When a process requires a person to reach further, push more, pull harder, bend their body or make other movements that are beyond the body’s normal range of motion, the person must exert greater muscle strength, which significantly increases the risk of injury due to overexertion. If the process requires excessive repetition, there is a risk of injury due to repetitive strain. These injuries can be very costly, one study estimates the cost of injuries due to overexertion to be over $15 billion for 2012.
As you can see, ergonomics can have substantial impact on an organizations bottom line. Between reducing the risk of injury, creating higher quality and increasing productivity, ergonomics can benefit the health and well being of the worker and the business.
That’s why we offer a complete line of Ergonomic Casters, including TWERGO® and TWERGO® Lite wheels, ErgoMaxx™ Rigs, and ErgoTread Polyurethane. We are committed to helping organizations with Manual Material Handling challenges, and achieving optimal ergonomic benefit!