Did you know that the cost of work-related injuries and illness for the 2008-2009 financial year in Australia was estimated at $60.6 billion?
Many of us spend the majority of our working day with our eyes glued to a screen, hands glued to a keyboard, and bottoms glued to our chairs.
Correct office ergonomics can help reduce the pain, injuries and health risks (as well as the financial strain!) of a poor work set-up.
But what is ‘correct’ office ergonomics? Are you expected to just know what you should look out for? You probably have a pretty good idea about why your lower back is sore (that crummy desk chair), your wrist aches (repetitive keyboard and mouse usage), and your legs feel stiff (SITTING!)
Workplace ergonomics, though, doesn't just cover the office. Think of all the industrial jobs that require heavy lifting, manual labour and awkward movements that can strain the body.
The whole point of office ergonomics is to make adjustments to your workplace to provide a more comfortable and healthy environment, no matter your industry.
What changes can you make in your workplace?
The importance of workplace and office ergonomics
As the importance of ergonomics becomes better known, it’s great to see workplaces (and individuals!) taking preventative action, rather than waiting for an injury. This new approach prompts them to take a look at how and why their office furniture may contribute towards that back ache or sharp wrist pain.
Workplace and office ergonomics is designed to shift the workplace to a space where the office furniture adapts to employees, and not the other way around. All too often, we’re settling for office spaces in which chairs do not adjust to fit our specific height, static desks do not allow movement throughout the day, and computer screens force us to crane our necks and strain our eyes.
How can I self-assess my workplace? An ergonomist isn’t always a viable option
“I don’t have time for this”
“Who knows what to measure?”
“What even is the right angle for a computer monitor?”
So where exactly is someone meant to begin when they want to make ergonomic changes to their workplace? You might be throwing out some of the excuses listed above, or you might even just turn a blind eye to it.
If you ignore the issue, it will just go away, right?
The tool we are about to introduce to you might change your perception. The Ergotape makes it simple for people - even those with limited ergonomic knowledge - to proactively see the ways in which their workspace can be altered to help alleviate those ergonomic and health problems.
What is it?
The Ergotape is a measuring tool containing over 50 ergonomic specifications contained in one small, handy tool. It looks like and is about the same size as a regular tape measure, but provides so much more.
I’m listening... what can it solve?
Is my seat the right height?
How far should I be leaning?
Do I need a footrest?
How high should be computer monitor be?
Is my desk too low?
Desk angles, computer monitors, desk height, chair height and angle, distance from monitor are just a few of dozens of measurements. It’s also equipped with a spirit level to establish correct angles and gradients, and a mirror to identify the source of annoying reflections.
What are the features?
It’s a compact unit packed full of useful measurements so you can easily adjust your workplace to satisfy each and every one of your employees. Erase the misconception of clumsy and confusing measurement tools accompanied by complicated textbooks and documents.
There is an easy way to change your workplace for the better!
Keep talking... who can use it?
The Ergotape can be used by your “everyday worker” (perhaps like yourself?) who has an desire to tweak their workspace, or by the pros, including occupational health and safety officers, safety representative, engineers, architects, and ergonomists.
You don’t need to be an ergonomics expert who’s memorised hundreds of pages of comprehensive reports and guidelines to improve your workplace. The Ergotape has transformed the way workplaces are identifying and rectifying potentially harmful or injurious settings.
Where can I use it?
In fact, the Ergotape can be used not only in your typical office workplace (desks, computers, laptops and swivel chairs come to mind!), but also factories, productions lines, and sales areas. In short, any work environment that includes repetitive motions (typing, mouse work), problematic or stationary positions, the lifting of heavy or awkward items, prolonged exposure to vibration (a cause of vibration white finger) and using excessive force to perform tasks can take advantage of the Ergotape!
You’ve sold me... where can I get it?
The Ergotape is available exclusively through the OHS Resource Centre of Occupational Safety & Health Associates. For more information, or to purchase the tape, visit the Ergotape website.
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