Workplace ergonomics looks at the relationship between a worker and their work taking into consideration individual capabilities, working environment and the specific job tasks. Optimal ergonomics can increase employee wellbeing and engagement, and ultimately reduce absence and improve productivity.
Physiotherapy Matters can offer ergonomic services that comprise a flexible programme of comprehensive workplace assessments, developed and managed by our Specialist Occupational Health Physiotherapists to meet the unique needs of your organisation. Following the ergonomic assessment, findings are then presented in a detailed report with suggestions for ergonomic solutions for higher risk tasks that may have otherwise led to musculoskeletal pain and associated workplace absence.
Appropriate workplace ergonomics can reduce the risk of work-related conditions, reduce the impact on work-aggravated conditions, improve employee productivity and performance, improve health and safety at work, and address legal compliance issues.
WHY USE WORKPLACE ERGONOMIC PHYSIOTHERAPISTS?
Your organisation may be experiencing problems relating to the following:
- Equipment, seating and workstation design
- The working environment and workplace layout
- Health and safety improvement notices
- Work methods, shift patterns or workload
Our approach will carefully balance the needs for company profits with a safe working environment to:
- Save you money
- Help employees feel better
- Keep people working
- Reduce waste
- Increase productivity
Our ergonomic services can be tailored to your needs but may include one or more of the following services.
DSE Workstation Assessments
Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessments or Visual Display Unit (VDU) assessments are workplace assessments for employees who regularly work with computer equipment. This may be in an office setting, at home, in a laboratory or reception. Employees who regularly use computer equipment often report discomfort in the neck, shoulders, arms and back and may also be prone to eye strain or fatigue. The development of these symptoms invariably leads to reduced productivity in the workplace. Whilst these disorders do not indicate any serious ill health, it is always good practice to ensure that the working environment is as ergonomically satisfactory as possible. Businesses should also be mindful of the health and safety regulations requiring them to protect the health of people who work with DSE.
DSE workplace assessments involve assessment of the employee’s:
- Keyboard and Mouse
- Other equipment – laptop, tablets, meeting room equipment, dictation equipment etc.
Any improvement that can be made at the time of the workstation assessment will be implemented. Further advice and recommendations will be provided and may include postural advice, guidance on job tasks and breaks, training needs and further equipment that may be of benefit. As an independent physiotherapy provider we have no links with any equipment suppliers so will endeavour to make only appropriate and cost-efficient recommendations. This will improve employee health and wellbeing while minimising any financial impact to the business.
Examples of DSE assessments include
- Basic individual DSE workstation checks for individuals with no medical conditions
- Comprehensive individual DSE workstation assessments for individuals with medical conditions or significant discomfort
- Compliance checks for a whole workplace to ensure compliance with DSE regulations
DSE assessments can be completed remotely where appropriate. Using video technology provides an affordable, convenient alternative to our full face-to-face workplace assessments.
Ergonomic Risk Assessments
Workplace assessments may also be carried out for employees who have a more practical role. This involve observing the employee doing their normal job, breaking it down into individual tasks and highlighting any specific risks with the particular activities, postures or equipment required. Recognised ergonomic assessment tools such as QEC, MAC, ART, RULA and REEBA can be used to analyse and identify the specific risks associated with a job role or task. Again, details of the workstation assessment will be provided in a detailed report with possible risk reduction strategies or recommendations.
Ergonomic assessments can be
• Specific to an individual and the completion of their job role. This is useful for employees with long standing conditions who are struggling with their current role.
• Specific to a particular job or task. This is useful if you are putting new processes in place and want to try and minimise risk OR if you have reports of numerous injuries or ailments from employees working on the same task indicating it may be a high risk activity.
Workplace ergonomics aren’t restricted to office, factory or other building environments. Professional and commercial drivers can experience a range of musculoskeletal problems including back, neck, shoulder and leg pain. Those who drive cars as part of their job – for example, sales people – are at particular risk. For those driving more than 20 hours per week the risk is significantly increased.
A full driver assessment will include assessment of their driving role, any musculoskeletal issues, non-driving tasks required by their role, anthropometry, driver posture and seat design. Adjustments may be made at the time of the assessment and specific advice provided as to how to minimise the risk of developing musculoskeletal problems or how to improve ongoing problems.
Physiotherapy Matters can also offer Training Programmes for employees to complement the ergonomic design and processes implemented to minimise human factors, such as ‘Manual Handling Training’ and ‘DSE User Training’, as well as workshops including ‘Health and Wellbeing of the DSE User/Manual Worker/Driver’. We also provide ‘DSE Assessor Training’ to help employers train individuals to carry out DSE assessments regularly without the need for external providers.
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