Ergonomics and FM

First of all, what is Ergonomics? Let’s make it really easy: Ergonomics is the science of fitting the task to the worker.

Now, how do we do that? It is not a matter of getting a new chair, closing the blinds to stop glare, or even putting paper under the monitor to raise the viewing height. When an employee comes to you as their go-to person for anything and everything pertaining to their personal workstation, you probably make every attempt to help with the situation.

With ergonomics though, you should really involve an ergonomic specialist, as the source of the problem may not be in the furniture or equipment, but in the flow of work or the awkward posture in which the employee is doing the task. Some examples of requests you may receive as a facilities manager may be to lower their desk or workstation, remove the fluorescent light directly above their workstation, or make their monitor higher. You may have the ability to complete any or all of these requests, but should you?

What you have to take into consideration are the following:

  • Does the employee have a pre-existing injury that may be exacerbated by implementing any of these changes?

  • Are you aware of how these changes may affect their co-workers?

  • Is the employee under a doctor’s care?

  • By making these changes, could it cause additional injuries?

These are all very good reasons why you should implement an ergonomic process, or program in your workplace. As a facilities manager, you would be a key part of the process, not necessarily the one making the recommendations. Your role would be at the implementation stage of an assessment. Leave the assessing and recommendations up to the specialist.

#asktheexpert #ergonomics

Written By

Lyn Hatt

Ergonomic Specialist