Ergonomic furniture can minimise the risk of suffering musculoskeletal disorders and costly workers’ compensations payouts, as it allows workers to sit or stand in the most comfortable position for them. Adjustability is key.
A common complaint we’re seeing from local government employees is that built in furniture isn’t designed with the user in mind (and in many cases does not meet the AS/NZS 4442:2018 ergonomic standards).
Libraries, aquatic centres, and reception desks are often the worst offenders for awkward bench heights, bad fit outs, and unsuitable furniture.
Installing the wrong furniture in the workplace can be a real pain the neck – or even the back or the shoulders.
The past year has thrown up many challenges, at home and internationally. Extreme weather events, bushfires, a global pandemic, just to name a few.
Five of the most common issues we’re seeing within these areas include:
The aforementioned problems can cause back, shoulder and neck pain.
When picking out furniture, adjustable desks and chairs are ideal as they accommodate a range of users. Consideration should be given to the person performing the task and the requirements of people with additional needs. In some cases, this might involve purchasing or customising special equipment, usually as a result of an ergonomic review.
It is more important to consider the furniture’s compliance with Australian standards over cost.
To prevent these issues becoming expensive injury claims, ergonomics should be incorporated right from the start when considering building fit outs.
Along with the above, other important things to keep in mind are:
When building workstations a lack of consultation with staff is common.
Consulting employees about how they move through tasks during the workday can solve a myriad of ergonomic problems later.
The LGIS injury prevention team can also conduct site visits to assess workstations, and make adjustments and recommendations to ensure the area and furniture is appropriate.
For more information, please contact the LGIS injury prevention team on 9483 8888.