Who’s In Charge? Identifying The Lead For Your Ergo Program

Dog Manager

Many organizations have a seemingly well defined response to ergonomic issues that could arise. For example, we have seen a serious uptick in requiring ergonomic information and/or training as part of new hire packages and orientation. “Nip it in the bud!” Great idea! Some companies trumpet their preventive approach by asking staff to do an on-line self assessment which can help point out potential trouble spots and again, nip the problem in the bud with minimal intervention! And some expanding organizations have begun implementing “post move” or new hire evaluations as a way to get everyone set up well and avoiding potential discomforts and more!

To all of these approaches we say: Bravo!

However, one approach does not fit all cultures, budgets and personnel. Identifying what can work for your organization or what may be added to an already existing program to help make it more successful in the long-run, is of paramount importance.

We want to make sure that employees understand that ergonomic and health issues are ongoing and do not stop at the end of an evaluation or training or a new keyboard tray, but rather the opposite. A robust and multi-lateral approach to ergonomic issues is the key to both short-term and long-term success for your organization. And by success we mean: less injury, greater productivity, greater employee retention and healthier staff.

Over the next few months, we will tackle some of these issues that help both define and propel a successful ergo program. Your input into the process will be very helpful to expanding the picture and knowledge base

For today’s discussion let’s focus on identifying the “lead” department in handling ergonomics.

As stated at the outset, many organizations are fabulous at appointing the lead in dealing with ergo issues and may even have a dedicated person or department to deal decisively with ergo problems (and a budget to go along with it!).

However, if ergo is still one of those nebulous concerns that floats around between the individual departments, HR and Facilities or even your office manager, and does not have a permanent home, this is when problems can arise because no one takes true and immediate ownership of the issue. This can lead to delays in dealing head on with staff needs. And while a few extra days of determining how and when to address an employee’s concerns may not seem like a lot; when someone is in discomfort, it can make all the difference in the world.

Budget and allocation of equipment can be a big roadblock  and often causes delays in response time. Let’s say for example that Facilities just got a great deal on 100 new chairs and in an honest effort to help those in need sends out an alert that if you are having issues with your chair, just contact us and we will come by and replace your chair with a new one! While this can be a great benefit to those who may be  in need of a new chair (of course there are other problems that may arise from just handing out chairs, but we will leave these for another time), it does not address the folks who do not need a new chair but may need a new keyboard tray but have to go through their department to get one and the manager needs to sign off for an eval or place a requisition or some such and so on and so on!

This lack of uniformity and “shared” but uncoordinated response to ergonomics,  is still prevalent in many companies.

Therefore, identifying the lead for ergonomic issues is a critical first step in disseminating both the appropriate policy and educational information to those involved, from the lead to the department manager to the staff member herself. A convoluted and disjointed approach leads to delays and the potential of higher costs down the line.

Next time we will delve into budgets and shared responsibility!  We look forward to your input and insight.  Please leave us a comment below!!!

Until the next time!

Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 7.16.15 AMAndrew Blumenfeld, M.A., PBE Co-Founder

For more information check out our website

www.pbergo.com for cutting edge on-line training 

 for onsite solutions.







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