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Ergonomy as an important productivity factor
For employees, only the best is good enough!
Ergonomy – Safety – Productivity
“A man who would do the best work, must avail himself of the best tools.”
(J.W. von Goethe)
At all times, humans have searched for optimum working equipment. However, these efforts have only been conducted on a scientific basis since the early 19th century. The artificial word “ergonomy” was compiled from the Greek words “ergon” = work, and “nomos” = rule/law, and describes the interaction between humans and machines.
Ergonomics and productivity are directly related
Companies will only invest in ergonomic working equipment, if it promises to be effective. Because employees are the capital of every company, it is important to protect, support, and maintain this essential productivity factor. It is often argued that working with transport equipment and lifting aids is too slow, and that manual lifting, moving, and carrying is much faster. Admittedly, the human body is capable of performing many complex activities. But not at the same speed during a full working day, and usually not without a considerable risk to the employee's health.
Employee health is a productivity factor
A defective machine can be replaced or repaired without great problems. But what about human beings? Once an employee's spine has been injured, it cannot simply be replaced or repaired. For example, if an employee reports sick with a back injury, a substitute must be found at short notice, and the sick person stays on the payroll. Therefore, the higher the technical standard of working equipment in a company is, the better will the medium and long-term productivity results be. Consequently, every investment in goods handling and transport equipment saves costs and prevents productivity losses.
Physically strenuous work cannot be carried out at the same speed throughout the working day. In the morning, work is started with fresh energy and motivation, but during the day the human “battery” gradually loses power, and working speed is reduced continuously. Fully independent of an employee's constitution, physical work that involves lifting, moving, and carrying of goods or loads cannot be carried out all day at the same speed.
Technology must be adapted to people, and not vice-versa
The use of ergonomic transport equipment (e.g. hand trucks, four-wheel carts) and lifting aids such as vacuum grippers and battery-powered lifts, represents an elementary relief for workers, and ensures a uniform working speed. This serves to preserve health, and therefore benefits the company in the final analysis. Because “for employees, only the best is good enough!”