Friday, March 22

Many workplaces still lacking ergonomics — Niosh

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SIBU: While there are increasing level of awareness on ergonomics among employers and employees, many companies still find it hard to fully implement ergonomics at workplaces.

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, said this was due to many factors such as aging workforce, equipment designed not according to the workers physical capabilities, and lack of specific legislation and standards regarding ergonomics.

Lee further noted that previously, most ergonomic implementation were only through a campaign poster or short talk given to the employees.

“Now, due to the increased awareness of the efforts of all parties, a lot of industries started to take a more serious view to manage this problem.

“Implementation of the best management system is through the development of ergonomics in the workplace,” Lee said in a recent statement emailed to thesundaypost.

He added that among them is the establishment of procedures relating to the organisation of ergonomics in the workplace, ergonomic risk identification and risk assessment methods and procedures, early reporting and investigation of disease, elements of training, procedures of selection and supply of equipment that are based on ergonomic consideration.

He attributed the greater awareness on ergonomics to collective efforts from Niosh, Department of Occupational Safety and Health (Dosh) and Social Security Organisation (Socso).

Turning to the financial impact in terms of compensation for permanent and temporary disablement benefit for work related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) cases, he found compensation for the cost of ergonomics-related diseases to be generally higher than that

of the other occupational diseases.

Lee said many people thought that ergonomics were only related to selecting best chair for the workers, training the workers on how to lift correctly or proper seating and standing postures.

He expounded that in fact, ergonomics has many disciplines.

The three major disciplines in ergonomics are physical ergonomics, mental ergonomics and organisational ergonomics.

“These three major domains give us a lot of opportunities to address ergonomics issues at work such as workstations/tasks/tools design, environmental assessment, human error analysis and ergonomics management system among others,” he said.