Worksite International Blog

Psychosocial Risk Factors

When an Office Chair is On Its Last Legs

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on May 21, 2019

Industry organizations have developed widely accepted ergonomic guidelines for the set up of office workstations and the design of ergonomic chairs. What’s missing — and very much needed, I argue — is an objective methodology for making the decision to keep, repair or replace task chairs once they’re in the workplace.

Despite recent trends toward promoting more standing in the workplace, average sitting times now exceed 7.7-10 hours per day or longer in the workplace, not including commute time. Most employers do not yet have widespread capacity for sit-to-stand workstations. As a result, far more emphasis needs to be placed on selecting chairs and the ongoing use of an ergonomic chair.

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7 Common Ergonomics Certifications and What They Really Mean

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on May 31, 2018

“Caveat Emptor” or buyer beware fits well when employers are selecting ergonomics service providers. The phrase arises from the fact buyers often have less information about the services they are purchasing than the seller is indicating to them.

Buyers of ergonomics services don’t necessarily understand the science of ergonomics and what makes a good ergonomics consultant, the differences in their education, training, and experiences which impacts the quality of service provided, the fees charged and ultimately the results the buyer or employer will achieve. These days, ergonomic credentials and certifications are like a bowl of alphabet soup!

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When Medical Management and Ergonomics is not enough

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on April 14, 2015

By all accounts, Rachel is a healthy and beautiful 26 year old administrative assistant. Her work injury diagnosis is relatively benign with no significant or objective medical findings to explain the severe neck, upper back and arm pain she’s had for the last year. She has no apparent loss of function either. However, when asked about her pain, she rates her discomfort level as an 8 to 9 on a 10 point scale (0= none and 10=excruciating). Despite physical therapy, intermittent leave, task restrictions and providing her with good ergonomic equipment including a sit to stand workstation, why isn’t Rachel getting better?

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