Intro to How Simple Ergonomic Interventions Can Reduce Workers Compensation Claims

Ergonomics  is the study of adapting the workplace environment to the worker in order to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.


Unfortunately,  too often, this crucial interaction is overlooked.  Factories design equipment for maximal productivity without taking into account human limitations.  Offices are often designed with more regard for aesthetics than human variability.  When you think about the fact that we have employees that are 4’10” sharing the same workplace and same equipment with employees who are 6’6″, it is important to provide accommodation for these differences.


However,  quite often, some simple engineering and/or administrative controls go a long way towards eliminating an increasingly dangerous problem.  Some examples of engineering controls include raising the height of some of the machinery in a  factory so taller workers no longer have to work in a hunched posture, or adding keyboard trays in an office setting so shorter employees can type without elevating their shoulders. (workersxzcompxzkit) Examples of administrative controls include task rotation in an industrial setting, and frequent short breaks for computer users in an office setting.


Many studies  have shown that an ergonomic program can reduce injury rates, reduce reported discomfort, increase productivity and employee satisfaction, and as a result of all these, reduce workers compensation claims.


Author:  Hayley Kaye, MS, CPE, is a Board Certified Professional Ergonomist specializing in office and industrial ergonomics.  She earned her Masters in Ergonomics and Biomechanics from New York University, and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Emory University.  She can be reached at  or

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