Many employers are concerned with how an ergonomics program can save money on health insurance costs. According to the CDC, work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) have a 45-54 billion dollar annual economic impact. This includes factors from lost productivity and absenteeism.
Having an ergonomics program at work can reduce healthcare and workers’ compensation costs and prevent MSDs including injuries to nerves, muscles, tendons, cartilage, spine and joints. The most common injuries include pinched nerves, sprains, strains and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Save on Insurance Costs with an Ergonomics Program
Ergonomics is the science of designing and arranging things people use so they interact efficiently and safely. Having a comprehensive ergonomics program can reduce workers’ compensation costs by 60-90 %.
Many of the MSDs associated with poor ergonomics can require long-term treatment and can increase medical and workers’ compensation costs. Increasing healthcare expenses have been rising over the decade and there is a direct correlation to rising premium rates that employers are having to pay. Unless employers take action to prevent work injuries this will continue to be a critical issue. By implementing an ergonomics program your company will be reducing these health insurance costs substantially.
The Value of an Ergonomics program
Employers may not realize the costs associated with workplace-related MSDs. There are two types of costs associated with these injuries, direct and indirect. Take for an example the costs for just one carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) injury.
The direct medical costs can be as high as $12,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but if surgery is needed it can be $35,000. When you add the indirect costs associated including loss of productivity, hiring of temporary workers and stress it can be as high as $175,000! The direct cost of even one case of CTS injury is really a conservative figure when the indirect costs are considered. Most employers do not realize exactly how much one injury costs. The good news is that these injuries can be avoided by utilizing an ergonomics program.
How Ergonomics Reduces Health Insurance Costs
With a good ergonomics program at your workplace, you can reduce the costs associated with MSDs. Small and large companies can reduce costs by implementing a program that is designed to reduce injuries and promote early intervention. The ergonomics program should educate employees on symptoms of MSDs as well as a way to report them early. Some features to consider with this program include:
- Employee awareness and training
- Policies and procedures
- Professional evaluations
Promoting good work habits like changing work positions, looking away from the computer screen and proper reaching and bending are keys to preventing MSDs. Healthworks Ergonomics can educate your employees on best practices for ergonomic well-being, as well as complete an audit for your company to help you improve your overall ergonomic plan.
Prolonged computer use is both physically and mentally stressful.
With an ergonomics program that reduces this stress, you will have healthier employees and better bargaining power to reduce health care premium rates. Employers will be happy with these reduced premium rates, and will also know that there are:
- Reduced injuries
- Fewer workers’ comp claims
- Fewer lost days
- More money for the bottom line
Employers are Looking for ROI – Ergonomics Can Help
Companies often evaluate return on investment (ROI) to guide decision-making. A well-run ergonomics program provides a great return on investment. The average total cost of one case of carpal tunnel syndrome can exceed $175,000. The cost to prevent it averages $250. Additionally, once employers implement these programs, employees feel better about their everyday work life, leading to greater productivity.
Contacting Healthworks Ergonomics for an ergonomic audit can show you how to achieve these great benefits for your company. An effective ergonomics program will embrace the strengths of your organization and provide solutions that minimize risk. Ergonomics is not just about purchasing certain kinds of furniture or equipment. It is a comprehensive strategy designed uniquely designed for your company and culture. Contact us for more information on this valuable program.