Neck and lower back pain costs $88 billion in health spending each year and accounts for an extensive number of days employees miss at their jobs. When workplace injuries occur, this can have a financial domino effect on several areas of a business.
As an employer, this should be worrisome.
The good news is by simply incorporating ergonomic workstations into your space, such as an industrial adjustable workbench, you can reduce the risk for employees to develop these costly injuries.
An industrial workbench comes in a variety of sizes and configurations, and this common piece of furniture found in laboratories and manufacturing spaces can be customized with many types of tools and features to increase efficiency and productivity on the workbench.
However, adjustability is perhaps one of the most important customizations you’ll consider when choosing a workbench. Here are the top 3 reasons why your workers need an industrial adjustable workbench now:
- You Are Protecting Your Employees
- You Are Protecting Your Business
- Your Workplace Becomes More Appealing
- It’s Better To Be Ahead Of The Curve
1. You Are Protecting Your Employees
Musculoskeletal injuries are some of the most common types of injuries among manufacturing workers. They can occur when workers overexert themselves or perform a repetitive motion that causes soft-tissue injuries.
It’s a common misconception that injuries can only occur when heavy lifting is involved or when extreme strain is placed on the body. Any type of repetitive motion can cause injury.
Five common injuries experienced in the manufacturing industry are sprains, strains, tears, hernias and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Fitting a workspace to a user’s needs, defined as ergonomics, aims to promote more efficiency and productivity while at the same time reducing the discomfort of employees. When we stand, we are in a neutral position. Any movements that deviate from this - flexing your back, twisting at the waist or bending over from your chair - can create an awkward and potentially harmful position.
There’s also new research that suggests sitting is the “new smoking” and is a hazard to one’s health. In fact, according to WebMD, here are six reasons why when you sit all day, your health goes into decline:
- Those who sit are twice as likely to get heart disease as those who stand.
- You’re more likely to die earlier from any cause if you sit for long stretches of time.
- The effects of too much sitting are difficult to counter with exercise.
- Your risk for diabetes, a deep vein thrombosis and obesity go up.
- Your back muscles, neck and spine can suffer from the stress of sitting.
- You may be more likely to develop varicose veins.
Sitting at an industrial workbench for an entire shift can feel unnatural to the body and may increase an employee’s risk for any of the scenarios mentioned above.
When employees are able to adjust the height of their workstation using an adjustable height workbench, this reduces the risk of injuries that can be caused by working in unnatural positions.
It’s often a simple adjustment with big rewards. Depending on the workbench you purchase, employees can use either a manual hand crank or an electric control to lift and lower the bench to a comfortable height. Some controls even allow you to preset positions for convenience.
2. You Are Protecting Your Business
When employees miss work due to workplace injuries, it can have a financial domino effect on several areas of a business. If an injury occurs at work, the company may be responsible for paying the medical bills and time lost for an employee. This means that the Experience Mod for your worker’s compensation insurance will go along with your premiums. And, if legal fees are involved, this becomes even more costly very quickly.
Injuries that occur frequently among workers can hit employee morale as well, not to mention the public perception of your business. Even tech giants like Elon Musk aren’t immune.
In 2017, an article appeared in Medium that outlined health and safety concerns among employees at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif. A report at the time by Worksafe, a California-based worker-advocacy group, also found that the plant’s injury rate was 31% above the national average in 2015.
Your company’s productivity may also be on the line. That’s because the happiness of your employees matters, and their health and safety directly impact their happiness. One study from the University of Warwick found that there is a direct correlation between workers’ happiness and their productivity.
In fact, the study found that happiness increased productivity by as much as 12%. On the other hand, workers who considered themselves to be unhappy were 10% less productive.
3. Your Workplace Becomes More Appealing
A company that looks out for the wellbeing of its workers makes it more attractive to current and prospective employees.
Today, employee happiness is imperative for a number of reasons. There’s evidence that when employees are safe and healthy, productivity increases. In fact, a Social Market Foundation study found that happy employees are 20% more productive than those who consider themselves to be unhappy in the workplace.
If employees are healthy and happy, it’s more likely that the business will be able to retain those employees. While turnover is normal for any company, high turnover can be detrimental to workflow and costly when it comes to recruiting and training. An Academy of Management Perspectives three-year study found that stronger emotional ties lessened the likelihood that employees would leave.
When hiring an employee becomes necessary, your workplace becomes more appealing to prospective workers. A positive workplace culture that emphasizes the safety of employees is much more likely to attract today’s generation of workers. In fact, a Global Talent Trends survey found that 50% of employees want to see a significant focus on well-being in a company.
4. It’s Better To Be Proactive
Buying an industrial adjustable height industrial workbench makes sense for many reasons. But why sooner rather than later?
Fitting a work area to a user’s needs reduces the discomfort of and risk for injury to employees. Research has shown that this workplace safety and emphasizing wellness impacts workers’ happiness, their productivity and a company’s bottom line.
In today’s business climate, it’s always better to be proactive rather than reactive. Whether you’re expanding your operations, replacing older pieces of furniture or simply looking for a way to increase productivity among your employees, purchasing a workbench that can have a long-lasting positive impact on your workers and your company is a sound business choice.