Investing In Ergonomics
In theory, creating an ergonomic workplace seems idyllic, however in the corporate world benefits of ergonomics must make sense in dollars and cents. The benefits of ergonomic intervention are often undervalued because the initial upfront cost seems to be a roadblock to implementation. However, with proper attention and comparison, the benefits of ergonomic intervention, in most cases, outweighs the costs incurred during implementation.
Fundamentally, measuring the financial impact of an ergonomic intervention should be rather straightforward. Such ROI calculations compare the financial benefits of a proposed solution to its costs. Below is a simplified equation to see the ultimate dollar amount that a company may spend and save through ergonomic intervention:
Direct costs: incurred in response to a work-related injury-most notably worker’s compensation and additional medical care costs.
Indirect cost: include increased insurance premiums due to accidents and claims, lost productivity, administrative costs, turnover and hire of new personnel, replacement costs for damaged materials, tools and property. These Indirect costs can have drastic financial repercussions and often outweigh the direct costs by a ratio of more than 3:1
Internal ROI: Refers to opportunities where the organization saves money. Examples of Internal Return on Investment include reduction in liability costs from injuries, reductions in paid absenteeism of employees, reductions in money designated for rehabilitation from workplace injuries, etc.
External ROI: External ROI refers to customer benefits, like product improvements, increased sales from properly allocated resources, improved user experiences, etc.
Social ROI: Social ROI is by far the most abstract and refers to, the strengthening of a corporate image, and the improvement of a brand in the eyes of the consumers.
The total savings that come from ergonomic intervention can typically be easily identified. All it takes is a critical eye to spot the differences before and after the intervention. Typically, companies that choose to prioritize their employees welfare in the workplace, realize exponential dividends while implementing these ergonomic interventions.