In an effort to shape and redesign workplace environments that support worker health and well-being, the field of ergonomics will be ever-present. As the workplace, product development, and industries themselves change over time, there will be a growing need for the field of ergonomics to evolve with it. In fact, in its practice, some ergonomists are incorporating biomechanics, creating a new focus called BioErgonomics. This series will dive into understanding what BioErgonomics is, the need for occupational health professionals, types of assessments, and its impact on a Total Worker Health approach.
What is BioErgonomics?
By its basic definition, BioErgonomics utilizes skills from both an ergonomic and biomechanical perspective. Movements involving repetitive motion or overexertion put workers at higher risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders. Bioergonomics, therefore, analyzes poor biomechanical patterns and corrects them either by physiological adjustments, equipment improvements, or procedural modifications.
Occupational Safety and Health Professionals
A commitment to workplace safety requires consistent thought, procedure, and practice best coordinated by a single individual or team. Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) is a comprehensive discipline that recognizes the connections between workers and the physical, chemical, biological, and psychological effects that can have a negative impact on their well-being. OSH professionals are trained to identify and recognize workplace hazards as well as causes of common injuries.
Types of Assessments
BioErgonomic assessments offer an extensive understanding of worker health and safety. Regular rapid entire body assessments (REBA) allow organizations to catch, prevent, and improve worker injuries before they lead to more serious impairments. Moreover, Fitness for Duty (FFD) tests assist in determining when a worker is physically prepared to return to work. And with the use of force gauge measurements or electromyography, assessment results can be greatly refined.
Impact on Total Worker Health Approach
Total Worker Health (TWH) is an organizational approach to promoting the health and well-being of the entire workforce. With implementation, companies see boosts in productivity and improvements in financial performance. Therefore, integration of BioErgonomic assessments creates a larger perspective on the relative state of each individual worker further improving positive outcomes already connected to the TWH approach.
Joining the BioErgo Revolution
BioErgonomics can maintain the stability necessary for supporting worker health and well-being in an ever-changing workplace. HFit’s BioErgo Suit is a practical tool that utilizes muscle-based BioErgonomics. The wearable technology allows companies to conduct assessments on their own at their own pace ensuring accurate and precise results for preventing workplace injuries.