US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association
Ergonomics is a word most people recognize from merchandise being sold. The term “Ergonomic Design” can be found when shopping for pens, kitchen tools, office chairs, and thousands of products used in everyday life, but what does it really mean? Quite simply, ergonomics is the practice of fitting something to the person who is going to use it. In regards to employment, ergonomics is the practice of fitting the job to the person instead of forcing the person to fit the job.
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) affect the muscles, nerves, and tendons of the human body. Work related MSDs (including neck, arms, and back) are one of the leading causes of lost workdays. Workers in all industries are exposed to risk factors for MSDs such as lifting, bending, reaching, pushing, pulling, and performing the same or similar tasks repetitively. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 33 percent of all worker injury and illness cases are MSDs and, unfortunately, that number appears to be rising. Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their workers.
In the workplace, the number and severity of MSDs resulting from physical overexertion, as well as their associated costs, can be substantially reduced by applying ergonomic principals. To learn more about ergonomics and how to prevent MSDs in the workplace, please visit the Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) website ergonomics page (https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/ergonomics/).
For further assistance regarding this topic, UVICELL Safety in Paradise can help small and medium-sized employers by providing free OSHA on-site consultation services. To learn more about this free and confidential safety and occupational health program, please visit:
– OSHA on-site consultation information: https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/consult.html
– UVICELL Safety in Paradise: http://safety.uvi.edu/