Injuries related to strains, overexertion and repetitive motion account for a sizeable part of national health costs. An aging workforce coupled with less conditioned younger workers is expected to increase employer costs going forward. Poor ergonomic conditions also slow production and increase errors, turnover, absenteeism and low morale.
Employers are reducing the frequency of injuries, yet their total cost of risk (TCOR) continues to increase. The common wisdom is that “frequency breeds severity.” But does it? Many efforts at reducing frequency have failed to reduce severity. The common response is “medical inflation,” but this is only part of the story. The rest of the story includes the impact of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs are the leading cause of rising costs for most industries and are often cause-coded as strain, overexertion and repetitive motion.
Impact on Business Metrics
Workers compensation costs associated with MSDs are enormous, but pale in comparison to their impact on other crucial business metrics. Musculoskeletal discomfort averages a 10% productivity loss. Post-ergonomics intervention studies show an average productivity improvement of 25%.*
WTW Ergonomics Services
Ergonomics Task Analysis
An easy-to-use format that facilitates the critical solution development process:
- Lists risk factors
- Associates risk factors with their root sources
- Brainstorm or “trystorm” changes to the sources
- Implement the best options
Rapid Improvement Events
WTW provides two- to four-day ergonomics training sessions (or Kaizen events) to teach client teams to perform ergonomics task analysis and apply it at their work site.
WTW Advanced Remote Ergonomics
Our strategic and holistic approach makes it possible to rapidly respond to employee pain and discomfort. WTW’s team of certified ergonomics, wellness, health coaching and rehabilitation specialists work directly with your employees to reduce discomfort, minimize lost time and decrease the probability an injury or claim will escalate.
WTW MSD Dashboard
Our dashboard aggregates task analysis form results and helps visualize key metrics of your risk pre- and post-assessments, quantifying the measurable impact.
WTW Ergonomics Process Evaluation Tool
This tool compares your current process against industry best practices. The online system allows you to compare sites and to view sites over multiple reviews. The evaluation evolves from a GAP assessment tool, to a cultural development management process, making ergonomics a normal part of operations.
WTW Body Ergo
We maintain that this biomechanics training process is more effective than safe lifting training. While ergonomics seeks to change the engineering design of your workplace, tools and equipment, Body Ergo seeks to improve the way your employees move and complete physical tasks.
WTW Online Coaching
24/7/365 online communication raises the bar for ergonomics. Our online multimedia coaching tool is designed for managers and supervisors, delivering generic or customized content to your staff in brief, information-packed videos. Regularly scheduled emails update information for subscribers. Our online coaching library provides timely, fun, practical and short messages created by ergonomics leaders who have developed and implemented successful ergonomics programs in some of the nation’s largest companies.
* Journal of Safety Research 39 (2008) 339–344, “Estimating the effectiveness of ergonomics interventions through case studies: Implications for predictive cost-benefit analysis”, Richard W. Gogginsa, Peregrin Spielholzb, Greg L. Nothsteinc
and Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health 2005;31(5):367-374 doi:10.5271/sjweh.920 Reduced productivity after sickness absence due to musculoskeletal disorders and its relation to health outcomes by Lötters F, Meerding W-J, Burdorf A
WTW Workforce Vitality
Holistic Human Capital Optimization
The causes of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) illustrate how changes at work and the workplace and how workers perform their tasks can improve human capital optimization. At a minimum, a comprehensive approach must consider the following:
- Wellness (e.g., diabetes, thyroid disease, elevated body mass index and a lack of strength, endurance and flexibility) and a predisposition to MSDs
- Lean manufacturing to resolve macro-ergonomic issues that create MSD risk
- Behavioral safety, to resolve worker choices that create MSD risk