Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

What is an ergonomic expert?

An ergonomic expert uses a combination of skills from the physical therapy and office equipment design disciplines to evaluate employee workspaces and arrange systems so that they meet the needs of the worker who is being assessed.

Karen Loesing CEAS, LPTA performs ergonomic consultations and evaluations for large, medium and small companies as well as home offices in the Los Angeles area.

The evaluation can serve as a preventative measure, or it can be used when an employee is already under the care of a physician.

Because, one size does not fit all, Karen educates businesses and their employees about proper individual workstation set up. Her goal is to turn the ordinary office workstation into an inviting environment that not only encourages a healthier lifestyle, but also increases productivity.

Ergonomics helps lessen muscle fatigue and reduces pain, migraines and eye strain.

Implementation increases productivity and reduces the number and severity of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

What is the benefit to employees of having an ergonomic evaluation?

An ergonomics evaluation identifies and removes risk factors that can lead to musculoskeletal and other injuries, and creates an environment that opens the door to improved worker performance and productivity.

Ergonomics helps lessen muscle fatigue and reduces pain, migraines and eye strain.

Can An Evaluation Reduce Workers Compensation Claims?

Work related MSDs are among the most frequently reported causes of lost or restricted work time. Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) account for 33% of all worker injury and illness cases.

Karen’s business clients all share one common goal. They all want to avoid accidents and injuries at their place of work. From an insurance perspective, it is one of the most costly issues.

The litigation rate has nearly doubled for all workers’ compensation claims, and more than tripled for claims involving lost time.

An ergonomics evaluation identifies and removes risk factors that can lead to musculoskeletal and other injuries, and creates an environment that opens the door to improved worker performance and productivity.

OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s address this major public health issue.

It says work-related musculoskeletal disorders are the most widespread occupational health hazard facing our nation today.

Nearly two million workers suffer work-related musculoskeletal disorders every year, and about 600,000 lose time from work as a result.

Although the median number of lost workdays associated with these incidents is seven days, the most severe injuries can put people out of work for months and even permanently disable them.

In addition, $1 of every $3 spent on workers’ compensation stems from insufficient ergonomic protection.

The direct costs attributable to MSDs are $15 to $20 billion per year, with total annual costs reaching $45 to $54 billion.

OSHA Ergonomic Recommendations
OSHA – A Process for Protecting Workers

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers. In the workplace, the number and severity of MSDs resulting from physical overexertion, and their associated costs, can be substantially reduced by applying ergonomic principles.

Implementing an ergonomic process is effective in reducing the risk of developing MSDs in high-risk industries as diverse as construction, food processing, firefighting, office jobs, healthcare, transportation and warehousing. The following are important elements of an ergonomic process:

  • Provide Management Support – A strong commitment by management is critical to the overall success of an ergonomic process. Management should define clear goals and objectives for the ergonomic process, discuss them with their workers, assign responsibilities to designated staff members, and communicate clearly with the workforce.
  • Involve Workers – A participatory ergonomic approach, where workers are directly involved in worksite assessments, solution development and implementation is the essence of a successful ergonomic process. Workers can:
    • Identify and provide important information about hazards in their workplaces.
    • Assist in the ergonomic process by voicing their concerns and suggestions for reducing exposure to risk factors and by evaluating the changes made as a result of an ergonomic assessment.
  • Provide Training – Training is an important element in the ergonomic process. It ensures that workers are aware of ergonomics and its benefits, become informed about ergonomics related concerns in the workplace, and understand the importance of reporting early symptoms of MSDs.
  • Identify Problems – An important step in the ergonomic process is to identify and assess ergonomic problems in the workplace before they result in MSDs.
  • Encourage Early Reporting of MSD Symptoms – Early reporting can accelerate the job assessment and improvement process, helping to prevent or reduce the progression of symptoms, the development of serious injuries, and subsequent lost-time claims.
  • Implement Solutions to Control Hazards – There are many possible solutions that can be implemented to reduce, control or eliminate workplace MSDs.
  • Evaluate Progress – Established evaluation and corrective action procedures are required to periodically assess the effectiveness of the ergonomic process and to ensure its continuous improvement and long-term success. As an ergonomic process is first developing, assessments should include determining whether goals set for the ergonomic process have been met and determining the success of the implemented ergonomic solutions.

 

What is a Muscoskeletal Disorder (MSD)?

Ergonomics helps reduce fatigue,  eliminate pain, numbness and discomfort in the neck, upper back, shoulders, wrists, hand, finger and reduce migraines and eye strain.

Examples of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs):

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tendinitis
  • Rotator cuff injuries (affects the shoulder)
  • Epicondylitis (affects the elbow)
  • Trigger finger
  • Muscle strains and low back injuries
What is a RULA measurement?

Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) is a screening tool that assesses biomechanical and postural loading on the whole body with particular attention to the neck, trunk and upper limbs. The RULA measurement helps determine where the potential risk factors lie, and what changes need to be made in the office equipment and its use so that any future risk can be mitigated.

What does an ergonomic evaluation cost?

The Ergonomic Expert offers competitive rates and a variety of assessment packages that strive to keep you within your budget.

Think of it in terms of how much will be saved on doctors, acupuncturists and masseuses for either you or your employee. Not to mention lost work days and worker’s compensation claims.

The ergonomic evaluation—a one-time cost—can help prevent those ongoing medical liabilities.

Unlike other consultants who bill for mileage, drive-time, and other add-ons, Karen Loesing charges only for the evaluation.

Her fee also includes a follow-up evaluation to make sure that the equipment being recommended is installed and used properly. The personal attention she gives to clients is second to none.

Why use The Ergonomic Expert?

With more than 25 years of experience in the field of ergonomics and orthopedic physical therapy, Karen Loesing has seen her share of work-related injuries. She has used her knowledge and skills to meet the needs of employees in office settings that range from the small business to the large corporation.

What is included in a one-on-one employee evaluation?

A one-on-one employee evaluation includes workstation assessment and adjustment, photos, RULA scoring, a four-page report covering employee’s personal and symptomatic history, along with on-site changes and facility and equipment recommendations (if needed).

How long does the evaluation take?

A one-on-one employee evaluation is approximately 45 minutes.

Mini-ergonomic evaluation is approximately 20 minutes.

Why Should I Invest in Ergonomics?

Sit-stand, mobile and collaborative, and lounge-style seating is more prevalent in the workplace due to the ease of using portable devices anywhere. Users are often are in extremely awkward postures and type with their head down for extended periods of time, which can become painful.

Employees are spending many hours hunched over a phone, tablet or computer leading to some type of musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) causing chronic and acute pain interfering with work responsibilities.

The primary goal of of Ergonomics is to reduce or eliminate workplace injuries. Studies have shown that an ergonomic program can:

1) Increase savings by reducing workplace costs.

2) Lower workers’ compensation claims. Technology use impacts eyesight and posture; it creates musculoskeletal disorders and affects their overall health.

3) Promote morale.

4) A ergonomically correct workstation actually improves productivity. Implementation increases productivity and reduces the number and severity of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Ergonomics helps lessen muscle fatigue, eliminate pain, numbness and discomfort in the neck, upper back, shoulders, wrists, hand, finger and reduce migraines and eye strain.

5) Return on investment (ROI) is a no-brainer.

Do You Have Liability Insurance?

I carry $1 million professional liability insurance for each claim / $3 million aggregate. Coverage includes Good Samaritan liability, malplacement liability, personal injury liability and sexual misconduct liability.

More Questions?

Call Karen

KAREN E. LOESING

ERGONOMIC CONSULTANT

AGOURA HILLS, CA 91301

EMAIL: karen@theergonomicexpert.com

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