Ergonomics is part of successful work ability management

Ergonomics promotes the work ability of your employees. It improves the fluency of work and thus reduces the risk to work disability. Work ergonomics provides researched information and practical solutions to support the development of work. This makes it is an integral part of systematic work ability management.

Ergonomics provides information and practical solutions

Ergonomics (Human factors) means adapting operations and technical solutions to human capabilities and characteristics. Work ability management, on the other hand, means goal-oriented and systematic measures that help you identify, manage, and reduce work disability risks in your company. Once you have jointly set the work ability management goals, applying ergonomic methods will help you identify harmful workload factors and design work and working environment in the desired direction. This is work ability management at its best.

Ergonomics offers

  • both researched information and practical solutions for daily life at the workplace
  • means for planning work processes, tasks and the working environment
  • means for selecting the tools and systems you use to suit the characteristics, abilities and needs of your employees. As a result, they will also be good from the perspective of work and operations.

Make human characteristics the focus of workplace design

Taking human characteristics as a starting point when designing work and the working environment is key for managing your company’s work disability risk and your employees’ work ability, regardless of the work development method you use. The solutions provided by work ergonomics are equally useful in, for example, the Lean method and the Design Thinking method. Improving workplace ergonomics is also part of your company’s responsible operations.

View work through the different areas of ergonomics

Ergonomics is divided into three areas: physical, cognitive, and organisational ergonomics. These areas should be considered together. They play a different role in different situations.

Cognitive work always comes with physical factors

Today, almost all physical jobs also involve cognitive work, which means work that requires processing of information. Humans are physical beings who use tools and technology physically and in different working conditions. All work also involves organisational factors that affect the flow of work.

Make use of ergonomic workplace design

The organisation, the work, the working environment, and the employee are always interconnected. Employees’ characteristics have an impact on work, and work and its changes have an impact on employees. When you change one work-related factor, you also impact several other factors.

A holistic, i.e. systemic approach to ergonomics means the ability to see the big picture instead of separate parts of work. Use ergonomics to design your company’s work processes comprehensively and consider the impact of the changes you make on both workers and the work. As you design work, it is important to consider the effects of changes made to work phases on the steps before, in parallel and after them.

Ergonomics helps you be proactive

Ergonomics helps you be proactive and supports the planning of work and the working environment. Changes made to work require adaptation. Adaptation, in turn, requires developing new ways of working. The extensive knowledge about humans based on ergonomics research will help you in planning. Plan new tasks and working methods so that they make your employees’ work not only healthy and safe but also smooth.

Create a framework for good work in your company

As an employer, you provide the opportunities for healthy, safe, smooth, and responsible work in your company.  

  • Consider work ergonomics already when planning the work and the working environment and in change situations. Involve employees in planning. 
  • Give your employees the opportunity to participate in developing shared rules and ways of working that support healthy and safe work.  
  • Ensure that the threshold for making observations and suggestions for improving ergonomics is low for employees. 
  • Also make sure that the employees are able to follow the instructions you have created.