The word ergonomics has become a stress point for many management teams these days. The word ergonomics has often been used as a means to market new equipment to consumers and businesses alike, but there are plenty of practical benefits to improving your ergonomics.
The Cost of Poor Ergonomics
The cost of poor ergonomics is difficult to assess at face value. However, we do know that poor ergonomics lead to more injuries on the job, which lead to higher insurance costs and workers compensation payouts. Furthermore, poor ergonomics could actually be impeding your productivity by forcing workers to take extra steps or unnecessary risks in their day-to-day operations. Risky moves with product could mean that product is getting damaged along the way.
When it comes to your warehouse management, cost should always be a priority. While there are some products that go way over the top to provide great ergonomics, the truth is that small changes to your processes can actually go a long way towards improving things. One of the biggest considerations in improving ergonomics is how to make your processes feel natural. The goal is to get your employees working in a position that is easy to maintain and doesn't feel strained. Not only will this reduce injuries, but it could also boost their productivity by 20-30% by reducing their movement.
The best way to achieve better ergonomics in your warehouse is to study each position in depth. Implementing standardized work stations for some employees could drastically reduce movement and ensure that employees are able to fill in at any workstation without feeling disorganized. This is not only a matter of ergonomics, but also good warehouse management.
For those employees that will be doing the most traveling, there are still steps that you can take to improve ergonomics. For instance, reducing the amount that each employee is expected to lift or push, using safe containers to transport goods, and making sure that employees are routed through your warehouse in a way that minimizes steps. Warehouse management software can directly impact your ergonomics by tracking product weights and sizes and routing your pickers the most efficient way through your warehouse.
Before you run out and spend a fortune on the newest adjustable desks and ergonomic pallet jacks, take a moment to consider how you can improve ergonomics by updating your processes. Utilize your warehouse management software to its highest potential by taking advantage of the built-in tracking features that it offers, and learn from what the system is telling you about your productivity.