Could a redesign of work areas stop the spread of MSD?

A new report has called on manufacturers to do more to protect workers by implementing a better design of work areas.

‘Factory Ergonomics - A study into the impact of ergonomics on productivity, quality and employee health’ highlights Health and Safety Executive statistics that reveal more than 7.5 million days are lost every year as a result of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD).

The report also shines a light on the one million plus people throughout the UK suffering from MSD each year - with poorly designed work areas often cited as a key cause.

The impact on the bottom line of lost working days is also significant, with the latest statistics revealing a cost of £5.7bn to the British economy per year as a result of workplace injuries.

Authored by Ross Townshend, an expert in manual production systems at global manufacturer Bosch Rexroth, the report goes on to discuss the key principals of good ergonomic design and how - implemented properly - it can not only dramatically reduce the risk of MSD, but also increase productivity and efficiency.

Mr Townshend said: “While industry is increasingly becoming more automated, humans remain the most versatile component in a manufacturing process. For the sake of workers and British business, ergonomics must be taken seriously. With our latest report we’re looking to offer production engineers and those responsible for employee health in manufacturing environments, an overview of the key factors that must be taken into account when incorporating an ergonomic solution into the workplace.”

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