Why Empowering your Employees is Key to Successfully Implementing an Ergonomic Program

Written by: Kim Moull, AE, Ergonomic Consultant

When onboarding new employees, we understand the value of investing time training them so they are set up for success. However, this training does not always include ergonomic principles relevant to them. A common misconception is that by implementing workspaces with all of the best, most “ergonomic” tools and equipment, companies will prevent their workers from developing ergonomic related injuries. The truth is that despite impeccable workstation design, workers can still be at a risk for an ergonomic related injury if they are not aware of how to use ideal body mechanics at work, or how to adjust the equipment and workstation to best fit themselves. This is where the need for training is critical – this empowers employees to have an active role in injury prevention.

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What exactly does ergonomics training entail? How can you make sure the training concepts are retained and applied?

Here are four key components of an effective ergonomic training program.

1. Building a Solid Foundation

For someone new to ergonomics, it may be difficult to grasp the details of how to apply it to their job without being introduced to its basic concepts. An effective training program will start by helping your employees understand what ergonomics is, why we use it, and the risk factors we look for, before getting into applications.

2. Using an Interactive Approach

The best way to learn something is by doing it. If your training program is solely classroom and theory based, your employees will not have the opportunity to receive feedback on how they have applied what they learned. An effective training program will combine classroom/theory with an interactive workplace component. This provides employees an opportunity to try and apply the principles (adjust the equipment, complete a task using ideal body mechanics, etc.) within a safe environment, while knowing that coaching will be provided to fine tune their approach if needed.

3. Customizing it to the Job

The basic ergonomic concepts hold true no matter what job you are applying them to, however, how you apply them can vary greatly from job to job. It is important when training your employees to use examples that are specific to their jobs. The purpose of this is to help reinforce concepts using examples that workers can relate to and directly apply. Customized training will also ensure that workers know how to adjust the specific equipment that they use for optimal body mechanics.

4. Evaluating Retention

The best way to evaluate the effectiveness of a training program is by asking your employees what they have learned. Using feedback forms are a good way to capture this. Should any gaps be found, they can be corrected quickly to ensure your workers are levelled up.

Options Incorporated has years of experience developing and delivering ergonomic focused training programs to support a variety of jobs and domains. Contact us today to find out how we can provide comprehensive ergonomic training for your company using the four key components.

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