Did you know that more than 8 days are lost per employee per year as a result of back pain and other injuries?

The cost to employers of people being uncomfortable or injured at work is more than just the odd complaint to a co-worker, with the Health and Safety Executive reporting that workplace fatalities, injuries and work-related ill health cost UK employers £2.8 billion in one year and HR Director saying that 24% of SMEs have had workplace injury claims filed against them.

Here are 5 ways you can help build a safer work environment:

1. Understand ergonomics

This means the ‘fit’ between people and their work. Individuals’ capabilities and limitations have to be assessed to ensure that tasks, equipment, information and the environment suit each user. Understanding ergonomics in the workplace can help reduce the potential for accidents and injuries, and improve performance and productivity.

2. Ask the right questions

When you are carrying out health and safety assessments, the right questions can be enlightening and reveal new information. Do workers find their working postures comfortable? Do they experience discomfort, aches or fatigue? Do they feel unable to keep up with the flow of work? Is their equipment appropriate, easy to use and well maintained? Are they satisfied with their working arrangements?

3. Promote the right tools

Make the right tools easily available so that people don’t have to improvise. So where people work with multiple monitors providing them with a monitor arm or monitor riser so they do not have to balance it on files or books

4. Recommend a good chair

Many workers spend a significant share of their day on office chairs, so it’s important they are comfortable. Think about the length of time people are seated and what kind of tasks they are doing before choosing between an eight or a 24 hour chair are. Fit the right chair with a flexible back that offers enhanced support.

5. Remember the accessories

Accessories form an intergral part when trying to reduce this risk of injury in the office and create a better working environment.  Therefore when purchasing key work tools for the office always think  about the additional products. For example footrests and wrist rests when purchasing new chairs; monitor risers to go with that new laptop or PC. However buying accessories is not just a consideration when purchasing new items you should also think about adding accessories to current work tools e.g. a back support to go with a current chair to make it more comfortable.

Investing in staff helps them to work more effectively and reduces the considerable expense of absenteeism, so taking the time to make sure employers have the right support and equipment in place is more than worth the effort.

You will find a solution to most of the above issues here on the Contour Ergonomics website