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Ergonomics key to business success

May 22, 2019
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

When it comes to preventing injuries on the job, nobody thinks about ergonomics very much.

But by doing simple things such as buying high-quality lighting, chairs and eliminating empty spaces, you can cut down on workplace injuries and costly worker's comp costs.

Gina Sisbarro, owner of Marco Office Supply, talked ergonomics last week at the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Business Leaders Luncheon at Herons Glen.

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Gina Sisbarro, owner of Marco Office Supply, talks about ergonomics at the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Business Leaders Luncheon on May 15 at Herons Glen.

Ergonomics is the science of designing the workplace, keeping in mind the capabilities and limitations of workers. The better the ergonomics, the fewer risk factors that could result in injury, such as repetitive tasks and awkward postures.

Sisbarro asked those at the luncheon where people worked from. More and more people are working from home, with many unaware that they may be sitting in the wrong chair or at the wrong desk. Others are in the corner of a building in something the size of a closet.

"The times are changing, especially in the way offices operate. In the 1970s, the bigwigs had the corner office with the window view, the VP would be in the other corner, and the rest in cubicles with big furniture and overstuffed chair in the middle It was like the movie 9 to 5," Sisbarro said.

Today, the need for high quality furniture, even if it costs a little more, is a bargain compared to the alternative, worker injury, Worker's Comp, retraining someone or hiring a temp, the loss of customers or accounts or, worst case, a lawsuit.

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) are the common in office environments, accounting for one-third of all workers comp costs. Of them, nearly half are back related. But shoulder injuries are common, too.

"What if nothing is accessible and I have someone reach up and grab a real big notebook and bring them down, all day long," Sisbarro said. "Even the leg, you can get leg cramps because the chair isn't adjusted properly."

An ergonomically sound office can result in reduced costs and improved productivity, quality, employee engagement and morale.

If there are potential issues, Sisbarro had some suggestions and even showed them a few. For example, headaches can be caused by improper monitor position, poor lighting, screen glare and even incorrect document placement. She suggested monitor support, task lighting, a glare filter and a document holder for those respective problems.

Offices are now set up so teams can be grouped together in the middle for a creative think tank so the main person can interact with his team all day long, create open space, find happy colors for the walls.

Sisbarro said it all comes down to employee happiness.



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