Did you know October is National Ergonomics Month (NEM)? Yes, it was in 2003 when the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) made the decision to reach out to the general public, as well as professionals and students, in the workplace to promote the benefits of ergonomics. Today’s post will serve as a resource for our present and future clients to appreciate that enhancing safety through ergonomics should be everyone’s goal.
Understanding the history of the word ergonomics
Ergonomics is a word that many have heard spoken, but few understand the origin of same. Would it surprise you to learn that the first use of “ergonomics” as a word was in 1857? It’s true…Polish Professor Wojciech Jastrzebowsk first used the term, and it was around 1949-1950 that it became an official noun: “scientific study of the efficiency of people in the workplace,” coined from Greek ergon “work” (see urge (v.)) + second element of economics.”
So, now in 2018, look around your current workplace environment. Whether you own a small – medium business, serve in a management role of a large corporation, work as a line employee of any business, labor indoors or outdoors, manage your home-based business employing a few individuals – workplace safety and ergonomics affects you.
Workplace safety is not a modern idea…
We were taken by a quote from the Occupational Health & Safety online magazine article “The Economics of Workplace Safety,” published on October 1, 2018:
“Safety in the workplace is not a modern idea bred by government regulation; it is a common-sense idea as old as the first quarry. In this day and age, safety is a key factor in worker protection, reduced insurance rates, and a lower total cost of operation.”
It is a lengthy article, but much is to be gained by a full read. It begs us to offer our readers a few more resources available for all concerned…the employer and the workforce.
- Insurance Information Institute (III) – “Steps to reduce workplace injuries.”
- U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics – Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses -2016, published November 9, 2017
- FindLaw’s outline on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), see the United States Department of Labor Safety and Health Topics-Ergonomics.
- National Safety Council’s Safety+Health – The Official Magazine of the NSC Congress & Expo – Ergonomics Articles.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) “All Workplace Safety & Health Topics,” listed alphabetically. Be sure to read the “Elements of Ergonomics Programs.”
Employers and employees must work together enhancing safety through ergonomics
Thomas Sugar, Professor at the Arizona State University Polytechnic School, opined for a September 23, 2018, Safety+Health article “Exoskeletons and injury prevention,”…the goal is to “make it so at the end of 30 years, you feel OK, not at the end of 30 years you’re on workers’ compensation. No one wants that.”
In the workplace, both employers and employees want and need to understand what role they play in implementing safety measures. Safety is a team effort, and here at the John Bailey Company we believe the following video from the National Safety Council outlines effectively how everyone in the workplace can make a difference.
If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.
John Bailey Company can work with you to “insure a great life”
The right commercial insurance policy can protect your business from theft, property damage, liability, and employee injury. Let our expert staff educate you on the different types of commercial insurance and help customize a policy to meet your budget and protect your thriving business. Is it time to review your workers’ compensation coverage? While this type of coverage is not designed to prevent workplace accidents and injuries, it will help your business recover from such incidents. It is important to understand that requirements for workers’ compensation insurance vary from state to state.
Remember, it is National Ergonomics Month, so why not take this month to raise your awareness about workplace safety and give us a call to review your commercial insurance package.