AWC Blog

Ergonomics Matter!

ergonomic workstations are important

Did you know that half of all workers’ compensation claims are for back injuries from lifting, pulling, pushing, keyboarding, and straining? Carpal tunnel syndrome comes in second and accounts for the highest number of days of lost work. More than half of carpal tunnel syndrome claims result in 31 or more days out of work.

Poor ergonomics is the cause of thousands of workers’ compensation claims each year, costing businesses millions of dollars. Luckily there are a few things you can do to improve the ergonomics of your workplace.

Buy the Right Equipment

A $500 chair may sound like a lot of money to spend, but compare that to $10,000 for a medical procedure to diagnose mysterious back pain. Chairs, keyboard trays, footrests, and ergonomic mice, among other ergonomically designed equipment, can greatly reduce your workers’ compensation claims.

Have your employees position their computer screens at their natural, resting eye position to avoid neck and eye strain. Suggest or make proper footwear available for employees who spend most of their work time on their feet. Anti-fatigue mats can be helpful for those that stand in one spot for extender periods of time. Small changes can make a big difference.


Encouraging good posture, through safety training or simple reminders can do a lot to help prevent strains and pains. When standing, make sure to distribute your weight evening between the front, back, and sides of your feet. While sitting, sit up straight and align your ears, shoulders, and hips in a vertical line.

Some employees may find value in using a balance ball as a chair because it gently corrects posture by rocking the pelvis forward, which increases the lumbar curve, and shifting the shoulders back. Add balance balls and even standing desks to your list of potential equipment to make available for employees.

Remind Your Employees to Pay Attention to Their Body

To avoid unnecessary injuries or pain, there are things your employees can do to help themselves – you may just need to remind them of it from time to time. Unusual back pain can sometimes be a sign of poor posture. Remind everyone to sit or stand up straight.

Encourage your employees to get up more and take their breaks. The longer they sit in a chair or do the same repetitive work with no break, the more likely they are to injure themselves. Encourage regular exercise – consider making it an office challenge to keep people motivated and willing to participate.

There are plenty of things that you can do to lower your risk of workers’ comp claims from overuse injuries or strains and sprains. Give them access to the equipment they need, encourage everyone to use that equipment, and remind them of the things they can do to help themselves. With those methods in place, you should see a drop in workers’ comp claims and possibly an increase in employee productivity and morale.

Our team is here to help you understand your current workers’ comp policy, develop a plan of action to reduce your claims, or to provide a free quote for a new policy. Contact us today!

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