Every company has room to improve regarding Ergonomics and MSD Injury Prevention. Frankly, we have not been invited into a company yet, where one hundred percent success has been achieved in this realm! This is not an “if not today, then tomorrow” scenario, but optimally a “today, tomorrow, and for evermore” paradigm, requiring continuous focus and daily awareness. Maybe the need first appears with at-desk workers who experience aching backs, necks or wrists. Maybe with maintenance personnel, forklift operators or the line staff who make your products or provide services. These days, one common theme applies for everyone; we all struggle with some form of work-life imbalance.
Opportunity routinely knocks, however unless an organization is ready (and willing) to actually let go of some of their old habits, (just like the ones we are asking their employees to do), success will remain elusive. Habits may include: relying on a generalist or other non-MSD Specialist or videos for training. Utilizing internal employees (with many other job functions), who are trying to provide the kind of change which is necessary, yet are never quite able to find the time or have the confidence which is necessary for success. Additional barriers which impede the ability to achieve high-levels of success include common mindsets such as:
“Someone” will accomplish all that is truly necessary for success as an adjunct task to their already full work load or schedule,
What is genuinely required for profound change to occur is provided by a resource which is “free.” This is, “good enough.”
“We’re not having injuries, so we don’t have a need,”
“We are laying people off, morale is awful just now and people are stressed, we can’t possibly provide training now.”
Our most regrettable response is when we hear a company tell us: “We already are the standard in this regard, we don’t have anywhere in our organization where improvement is necessary.”
We could go on and on; there are literally a million excuses which justify sub standard practices. We work with the clients who recognize (and/or are willing to discover) their shortcomings and then make the commitment to move forward in the most comprehensive manner as possible! This is how “true” success is achieved.
Please note, we are not saying that training under any circumstance is bad or unnecessary, (any/all awareness techniques are great), or that the training abilities of any one person may not be effective. We certainly understand that spending resources wisely is important and even critical for the success of any company. What we are saying is that when it comes to this particular topic, a true specialist is able to ensure that your “smart investment” in ergonomics and MSD Prevention initiatives will produce the highest-value outcomes as possible. This then becomes the level of success where financial rewards far outweigh expenditures and companies are then able to, “live off the interest” of their program.
Remember the vintage phrase, “penny wise and pound foolish?” How about this one: “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result,” With the size and scope of Ergonomics and MSD Injury Prevention, these statements absolutely apply.
Consider this: Employees first need to be made students. A worker with 25 years of “on the job” experience often has layers of engrained behaviors and habits. He/she rarely appreciates someone telling them to try something new or to perform job tasks (they have been performing for years), in a different way. Employees (people in general), typically develop bad habits over time. For this reason, the process to then “guide them back” to excellent form and efficiency requires expert training. In this way, employees are generally more open to listen and engage with their peers in discussions, perhaps even try something new. Better yet, they are often then willing to perform a task they have done for years, with slight refinements. The key and generally most strategic way to accomplish these lofty goals are with a neutral third party, who is experienced at training and is removed enough from the corporation to be able to establish genuine trust with your workforce. We are not a, “corporate suit” which is often perceived as an agent of, “the boss” but more of a trusted friend who truly cares about the best outcome for all. We help to create a foundation and develop the groundwork necessary for long term and sustainable solutions to then take hold.
When trainees raise their hands during a class, or stay after class to ask questions, they must be able to trust in the process and have credibility with the answers. The entire program may lose its validity if questions are not easily answered, or the established trust is not maintained (a true “no blame” environment).
The biggest expense when it comes to training is the time spent. Why not put this valuable time to the best use as possible? Accurate Ergonomics values your time and the time of your teams.