A company’s success is deeply tied to the health and well-being of its workforce. Occupational safety and health have developed fields dedicated to maintaining a strong workforce and improving overall well-being. However, as industries change, musculoskeletal disorders continue to account for one out of three of all workplace-related injuries. In response, occupational safety and health have developed BioErgonomics that takes an enhanced approach to workplace health and well-being. By incorporating ergonomic and biomechanical perspectives, BioErgonomics works to assess worker health and implement corrective solutions in order to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
What is Ergonomics?
The field of ergonomics is the study of interactions between people, machines, and the workplace. More specifically, it is the study of designing equipment and protocols that fit the human body. With the help of a variety of disciplines, ergonomics works to foster human well-being and optimize organizational performance.
Ergonomists work to shape the perfect work environment by identifying and eliminating risk factors. Typical assessments involve analyzing the relationship between the worker and the equipment. This includes the demands required of the worker, specifications of the equipment, whether the equipment is appropriate for use, and other pertinent information.
Adding a Biomechanical Understanding
Biomechanics is the physical science of how muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones work together to create movement in a living body. Biomechanics focuses on forces, torques (rotational force), momentum, center of gravity, and balance of the body. In application, biomechanics often is utilized in sports to perfect and enhance body movements for elite competition.
Integrating biomechanical methods to ergonomics specifically focuses on the motion of and specific force sustained by different body systems. Through a variety of mechanisms, a bioergonomic approach analyzes common movements in the work environment to identify any inappropriate techniques that might lead to MSDs. Overall, bioergonomics focuses more on the physical fitness of workers compared to the equipment being used.
Implementing Corrective Solutions
When a bioergonomic assessment reveals high risk of developing MSDs, companies can take several steps to prevent the workplace injury. Most often, assessments are preliminary to gain insight into the overall health of each worker. When interventions are needed, adjustments can be made both on the worker and the equipment.
In a variety of scenarios, bioergonomics encourages modifications to physical movements. Workers can be educated on proper lifting techniques to limit strain and overexertion on inappropriate body systems. Particular tasks with repetitive movements can be reduced by exchanging them with other responsibilities. Finally, when changes to biomechanical patterns fail, equipment and work environments that put workers in improper positions can be removed or calibrated.
Bioergonomics takes on a physiologically focused approach to worker health and well-being in order to prevent workplace-related MSDs. HFit’s BioErgo suit utilizes muscle-based ergonomics to get accurate and precise results on the status of your workforce. Take the step and join the BioErgo Revolution to have confidence that your company is working at peak performance.