In an Oct. 6 session at the 2010 National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo, Deepesh Desai, CPE, ergonomics engineer with Humantech Inc., shared tips for demonstrating the value of ergonomics programs to management and evaluating return on investment (ROI
“Ergonomics is an engineering issue and not a health and safety issue,” Desai said. “The only time it becomes a health and safety issue is after you see an injury.”
Desai explained that a common maturity curve – moving from reactive to proactive to advanced stages – can be used for ergonomics programs. “As safety people, we hate the reactive phase,” he explained. “What it means is that we are fire fighting.”
Being proactive, meanwhile, means managing risks rather than consequences. That entails not introducing any new risk and controlling any incoming risk through new equipment, workstations, product design and so on.