If you ask a business owner what keeps him or her awake at night, chances are workers compensation claims are on the short list. In 2009 (the most recent year available), the average Massachusetts workers comp payout was just under $14,000. That’s up from about $8,000 in 2002. And although the State recently rejected a proposal for an 18.8% increase, odds are it’s just a matter of time before rates go up again.
There are some ways to lessen the risk of a claim. Consultants have been saying for decades that ergonomically designed offices and workstations reduce worker claims.
Back in 2006, the consultant Dan MacLeod argued that a good ergonomics program can eliminate 60-90% of claims. (You can download his paper: 25 Ways Ergonomics Can Save You Money from his website: DanMacleod.com.)
It’s 2012, and thinking has evolved. Not only should office furniture be designed to not cause stress, it should force people to move around, says a recent article in the New York Times business section. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/business/stand-up-desks-gaining-favor-in-the-workplace.html
It turns out that sitting for long stretches is unhealthy even for people who lead active lives. After an hour of sitting, the enzymes that burn fat are reduced by as much as 90%. Researchers say that sitting slows the body’s utilization of glucose and lowers the levels of good cholesterol– two risk factors associated with heart disease and diabetes.
Yet what can you do when your work is described as a desk job?
For starters, you can reconfigure your work space. New workstations allow workers to stand or walk while they’re on the keyboard. Steelcase sells workstations with a treadmill underneath them.
Height-adjustable desks have been around since 2004. But in the last five years, Steelcase’s sales of ergonomic furniture have quintupled to more than $40 million.
A slew of start-up companies have jumped into the market, with a variety of products that allow a worker to move around. Ergonomics accessories can now be bought for under a hundred bucks.
Let’s see: A hundred bucks. Doesn’t that sound like a reasonable hedge against a possible work comp claim– or an early demise?
Contact LTD’s sales department and ask about ergonomic workstations and accessories to fit every office situation.