Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Ergonomic Seating Solution: It Makes Dollars and Sense – Guest Blog

by Melinda Bohlmann, Bevco Precision Manufacturing Company

Melinda Bohlmann, our guest blogger from Bevco, writes about the health and financial benefits of providing workers with quality ergonomic seating.

You’ve seen the statistics. A report from the N.C. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program shows that almost 50% of workers in the industrial space suffer from back problems. Proper sitting contributes to the physical well-being of a worker and may add as much as 40 minutes of production to each workers day. The National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine estimate that nearly 1 million individuals in the United States lose time from work each year due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), with an associated $45-$54 billion annual cost.

Bevco offers a wide selection of high-quality ergonomic chairs
The evidence is staggering; the solution is clear. Having employees sit in the proper chair will not only save money (think lost time and medical expenses), but increase worker productivity. Who wouldn’t want that? Yet time after time we hear “I just need the cheapest chair you have.”

Let’s break it down. In this example, a company needs to purchase 100 chairs for their production facility. We’ll estimate that a good ergonomic chair costs $300 and an inexpensive, non-ergonomic chair costs $150. The ergonomic solution will cost $30,000 and the inexpensive solution will cost half that, $15,000. That seems like a lot of money to save, doesn’t it? Remember, looks can be deceiving.

In 2005, the U.S. Department of Labor determined that there were 4.6 injuries per 100 full-time employees in the workplace. Thirty percent of these injuries are due to low-back disorders. Injured employees required an average of 19 therapy visits (Worker’s Compensation Research Institute). A work-related injury resulted in an average loss of approximately $38,000 including wages, productivity loss, and medical expenses (National Safety Council, 2005).

Going back to our example—we’ll say that one employee suffers an MSD at an average loss of $38,000. If the facility went with the inexpensive chair solution they would have not only spent $15,000 for the chairs, but also an additional $38,000 to pay for the cost of the work-related injury—a total of $53,000. If the facility would have gone with the ergonomic solution they could have saved $23,000.

The ergonomic solution saves the most dollars…and makes the most sense. Not only for the bottom line, but also for the comfort and well-being of the employees.

Bevco has been a leading manufacturer of ergonomic seating for more than 60 years. Based in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Bevco offers a comprehensive line of seating for the industrial, laboratory, education, office, sewing, medical, and electronics market. The company is dedicated to providing customers with safe, ergonomic seating solutions that adhere to the highest quality regulations on the market.

Q Source would like to thank our guest blogger, Melinda Bohlmann. We appreciate your contribution to The Q Source Resource.

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