According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), businesses spend upwards of $170 billion per year on costs associated with workplace injuries and illnesses. Ergonomics, the science of designing workplaces that fit their workers, cuts down on these costs by keeping employees safe, healthy and efficient. Engineers and plant managers, keep these trends in mind as the science of ergonomics evolves:
- Automation strategies. Airbus, a leading aircraft manufacturer, is leveraging automation to increase production of its popular A320 airplane. The project aims to use dual-arm robots to reduce human interaction, decrease acquisition costs and enhance ergonomic performance.
- Exoskeletal systems. Audi, a top German automobile manufacturer, has made headlines lately with its “chairless chair,” a carbon-fiber exoskeleton that can be worn by employees as they work. The chair is worn like a second pair of legs to provide extra support and allow employees to sit comfortably nearly anywhere instead of standing.
- Anti-fatigue mats. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that “common aches and pains” due to long periods of standing cost American employers $60+ billion per year. Anti-fatigue mats improve workplace efficiency by providing a comfortable, supportive place for an employee to stand, which is especially crucial in industrial environments.
It’s important to be proactive instead of reactive to ergonomics in the workplace. Implement ergonomic workstations now to cut down on costs associated with workplace injury or illness later – and keep your employees safe and healthy in the process.
Interested in making your factory ergonomically friendly for your workers? Download 10 Ergonomic Best Practices for Manufacturing today.
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