An estimated 1.8 million workers sustained work-related injuries resulting in emergency room treatment in 2020, according to the most recent available workplace injury statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Of these work-related injuries, the leading causes included contact with objects and equipment, overexertion and bodily reaction, and falls, slips and trips without a fall.
In today’s industrial applications, taking steps to help prevent these types of injuries can make the difference between a productive work environment and one riddled with employee injuries, costly downtime and poor morale.
Establishing a culture that prioritizes safety includes using ergonomic design to foster a healthy workplace. Particularly one piece of industrial furniture, an electric adjustable height workbench, offers four major advantages:
- Better employee health
- Enhanced productivity
- Less effort than manual versions
- Improved employee retention and recruiting
Better Employee Health
We’ll begin with employee health, since the wellbeing of your employees impacts all aspects of your operation.
If you’ve heard of the word, ergonomics, you’re not alone. It’s a popular term today in all aspects of workplace design. However, ergonomics is not a catchphrase, nor a trend.
What is ergonomics? Ergonomics focuses on preventing injuries and promoting the well being of workers. When incorporated into workplace design, ergonomics involves customizing a workspace to fit the workers using it … even if there are multiple employees that use the same workspace over the course of different shifts.
In other words, ergonomics aims to promote more efficiency and productivity while reducing the discomfort of employees. Several pieces of equipment can be ergonomically-friendly, from industrial furniture chairs to laboratory workstations.
An electric height adjustable workbench is ergonomically-friendly because it encourages an employee to work in a neutral position. Sitting for long periods of time is unnatural for the body. Standing puts the body in a neutral position, and any movements that deviate from this, whether twisting at the waist, bending over or sitting for long periods of time, can create an awkward position.
This can lead to musculoskeletal injuries like sprains, strains, tears, hernias and carpal tunnel syndrome, which we know are among the most common types of injuries among workers.
An adjustable workbench allows employees to adjust the height simply by flipping an electrical switch, promoting working in the most natural position.
When employees are healthier, they are more productive.
A study by the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) found that employee health is linked to better morale, engagement and corporate success. In fact, 90% of businesses that participated in the study agreed that performance and productivity improved after they began prioritizing employee wellness.
The health of your employees and your company’s bottom line don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, one can benefit the other and work in tangent to achieve a better outcome for all.
Keeping your company “lean” often involves improving productivity while cutting out waste. An ergonomically-friendly designed workbench will place tools, a drawer, power supply or power cord, and other supplies within reach of workers, allowing them to avoid repetitive motions while also allowing them to avoid using work time to search for the tools they need.
However, it’s the injuries that employees can sustain that can truly hurt productivity and your bottom line. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, musculoskeletal injuries account for nearly 34% of days away from work. Happy, well employees are also 10% more productive, according to a Fast Company report.
Less Effort Than Manual Versions
While adjustable workbenches that have a sturdy construction offer benefits, electrical models in particular offer an additional advantage … ease of use.
Adjustable workbenches essentially shorten or elongate the legs of the bench so that an employee can sit or stand at a supportive level. When choosing a workstation for your facility, you typically have two choices when it comes to the adjustable feature:
- A hydraulic bench that allows users to use a manual hand crank handle to raise and lower the work surface in order to make height adjustments
- A bench that comes with an electric control that lifts and lowers the table top using a motor with the push of a button
While both can be adjusted based on the employee’s height or working preferences, an operator may have an easier time lifting and lowering an electric controlled bench. If there are heavy loads work tools on the bench, a bench with an electrical component will also require less physical effort to raise the bench than hand cranking the bench.
It’s important to note as well that depending on the model or unit, you may be able to preset positions for convenience as well. This setting option can be beneficial if multiple workers use the same bench over the course of several shifts. Electric controlled benches are also faster and you don’t have to worry about oil leaks that may come with hydraulic benches over time with heavy use.
Improved Employee Retention And Recruiting
All of these advantages above point to one final benefit of incorporating electric adjustable height workbenches into your workspace … improved employee retention AND recruiting.
Why is this important? A high employee turnover is costly for your business. Experienced employees who remain with your business also give you a competitive advantage and offer some of the best word-of-mouth publicity for working for your company.
A Gallup poll found employees who feel cared for by their companies are FIVE TIMES more likely to strongly advocate for working there.
Electric adjustable height workbenches help promote employee wellbeing, which not only improves worker retention but with recruitment as well. If you find yourself in a position where you need to hire more workers, offering incentives like a health workplace can help you attract the best in your industry.
In the end, employee wellness ties many aspects of your business together, from productivity to how well you retain your workers and the tools you have to recruit new, experienced employees that will help propel your business to the next level.