Why MSD’s are Costing Companies Billions in Worker’s Comp

Neck pain

While safety and health managers do their best to eliminate accident risks in the workplace, from minimizing the potential for falls and other mishaps, the less conspicuous costs incurred from MDS’s, or muscular-skeletal disorders, are causing a significant impact—and employees may not even realize it. Many workers may assume that pains in their shoulder, wrists, neck, back and elbows may be “part of the job” until the increasing severity of these conditions leads to debilitating results. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA,  MDS’s account for more $15 billion a year in worker’s compensation costs.

Training Managers to Become Ergonomic Watchdogs

Identifying pending MSD situations, even when an employee isn’t complaining, can avoid costly consequences for the business and painful consequences for the employee.  Look out for these red flags:

  • Employees holding their backs or straining when they get up out of their office chairs
  • Employees stopping work to massage or shake their wrists
  •  Employees rubbing their neck or shoulders frequently
  • Look for vulture neck-the drooping of the head and neck forward due to improper monitor height

Recommended Solutions to MSD’s

Ergonomic office chair back rests are specifically designed for use with desk chairs and provide the added support to the lumbar, minimizing back strain.

Wrist supports position the hands properly and protect the wrists to prevent strain from repetitive motions like mousing.

Ergonomic keyboard trays position the arms and wrists at the proper angle and distance to prevent strain from the repetitious actions from daily typing.

Monitor risers elevate the computer screen to the proper height to prevent “vulture neck.”  Vulture neck may eventually lead to chronic neck and shoulder pain.

Get more information on implementing ergonomic practices that reduce MSD’s and keep employees happy and your office productive.  Workplace Well-Being Guidelines.

Holiday Home Office Buying Guide: Four Unique Gifts

For those on your gift list who take their home office seriously, here are some great ideas to provide comfort and productivity.

Home office

Upgrade to an Automatic Shredder

automatic shredder for home office

Enhance productivity in the home office by automating  everyday shredding needs. The AutoMax 200C Auto Feed Shredder gives that special someone on your gift list  versatile shredding performance with 200 sheet automatic shredding and 10 sheet manual shredding. The AccuFeed Technology lets them shred hands free with a 12 minute run time. They can also shred paper clips, staples, credit cards and junk mail. A great gift for anyone who needs a better shredder.

Add Professionalism and Save Money with Personal Laminating

versatile home office laminator

End the days of expensive laminated projects at the local office center. The Saturn 3i 125 Laminator is a simple DIY laminating machine that makes durable handouts, laminated business cards and dry erase charts that bring productivity to the home office for less money. This home office laminator is the ideal gift for someone who needs occasional laminating projects and also needs to save money for their home business. The Saturn 3i 125 provides rapid one minute warm-up and  a 12/1/2″ entry for versatile document size, as well as a supply kit to get them started.

 

Improve the Air of the Home Office

home-office-air-purifier

With the winter months, the home office can get stuffy and with cold and flu season, germs circulate throughout the heating system. Time spent in the home office can make anyone sick, even when they try to sanitize surfaces and wash hands. After all, cold and flu germs linger in the air for a long time, making a home office air purifier a thoughtful gift. The AeraMax DX95 Air Purifier provides hospital type filtration, effectively cleaning the air in large rooms 300-600 square feet. Also the AeraSmart™ Sensor monitors the air quality and automatically adjusts the fan speed to keep air purified all the time. Look for the certified asthma and allergy friendly™ by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America stamp of approval if someone on your Christmas list needs extra protection from allergies and asthma.

 

Toast Toes in a Chilly Home Office

8030901_climatecontrol-footrest

 

Sometimes a home office can be too warm or too cold, or both depending on the weather. If you have someone on your Christmas list with complaints of cold feet, this Climate Control Footrest will be deeply appreciated. This comfy footrest fits easily under the desk and features three temperature settings: cool fan, low heat, and high heat-so it also works great on sultry summer afternoons. The fan lets you adjust workspace airflow to suit your preference and the auto-off feature prevents overheating. They will also enjoy the surface massage bumps to help soothe their feet while they work.

When A Laptop is Too Hot To Handle

hot laptops

All laptops get hot while you are working on them. But when is your laptop too hot? Have you been noticing unexpected self shutdowns? This may indicate a bigger problem. Laptops are designed with preventive sensors to stop overheating from causing damage. Frequent shutdowns may indicate technical problems.

Check Your Laptop Fan.

All laptops have a ventilating fan to release the excess heat they produce. Find the fan and place your hand near it. You should feel warm hot coming out. This means your heat management system is working properly. If the air coming out doesn’t seem that warm, this may mean a buildup of dust is limiting the fan’s capacity. If you are okay with opening up your laptop, you can find the fan inside. Blow on it  or use compressed air to get it clean. If you are not comfortable with this maintanence, find a reputable computer repair service to take care of the problem. (Make sure you let them know you think it just needs a thorough cleaning).

A LapDesk Can Help Your Lap Stay Cool & Comfortable.

Because working laptops can still be uncomfortably hot, use lap desks to help manage the heat and keep you comfortable. Portable laptop desks are good for business travelers as they make working in airports and in hotels easier. The GoRiser also has cooling vents to help ventilate the laptop, as well as SoftShock technology which provides a softer cushion for your lap.

Laptop Lap Desk

GoRiser Laptop Lap Desk

 

Other designs like I Spire Series Laptop Desk are ideal for home users with features like bumpers to keep the laptop securely in place making them more comfortable for those who use laptops while on the couch or in reclining positions.

Comfortable Laptop Lap Desk

I-Spire Laptop Lap Desk

Three Must Have Comfort Products for Your Home Office for the New Year

If you are thinking about upgrading your home office, here are some products to help improve comfort, productivity and just make your workspace a nicer place to be.

home office products

Adding personal comfort touches

Yes, we can work in our pajamas, but no we shouldn’t slouch. Often the home office space leads to poor posture and all the discomforts we would normally associate with working at the corporate office. Here are some personal comfort touches that can help keep you happy at your home workstation.

Attach a back support to your desk chair. More than just a cushion for your lower back, back rests can encourage correct posture so you can sit properly and won’t feel that sudden tinge of pain when you get up from your desk. You can also find some back rests with heating and cooling properties.

back rest that cools and heats

Back rest that cools and warms while you sit.

Use a foot rest to help with overall comfort. We may be bending or placing or feet in uncomfortable positions as we work, unconsciously of course, which can lead to leg and ankle pain later on. A foot rest ensures the correct positioning of your feet while you are at your home office workstation. Some foot rests rock to circulate blood flow. Also you can choose foot rests with heating and cooling features, especially useful for home office spaces with wild temperature swings throughout the year.

 

foot rest

Climate Control Foot Rest Review: “I always have cold feet, it’s so bad sometimes that I have to sit on my feet to warm them up. But then I get leg cramps. This foot rest keeps my feet and calves nice and toasty warm!!!”

 

Keeping it Plush

We may not realize that the pain we feel in our elbow is directly related to our mouse usage. Replacing your standard mouse pad with a mouse pad with wrist support can help reduce the stress and the pain for every day mousing.

Using an innovative FoamFusion Technology, the Plush Touch Wrist Support delivers superior comfort and softness while relieving wrist pressure.

mouse paid, mouse pad with wrist support, mousing

Plush Touch with Foam Fusion

The Plush Touch design is also available for keyboards, offering the same softness and comfort to prevent wrist pains caused by continuous typing.

A great feature for both the Plush Touch pad for mouse and keyboard is the Microban protection that helps keep the surface cleaner. The Plush Touch pad is also laser mouse friendly.

Creating a Place for Study For Back to School

Creating a quiet personalized place to study can improve discipline when it comes to homework and preparing for tests. Here’s how to create a study zone.

child-studying-computer-24677054

A Comfortable Place

As computers become the central focus of kids homework assignments, kids, like adults, can experience the strain on eyes, hands and neck.

Make sure monitors are at the proper height and the proper distance from the eyes.

  • Sit approximately 20″ to 35” from your monitor.
  • Position the top of the monitor screen at, or slightly below eye level. Use a riser to achieve the right height
  • Use a glare filter to reduce glare, brightness and reflection.
  • Add a task light to illuminate documents and avoid shadows.

If a laptop is the computer of choice, use a laptop riser to prevent the strain that can come from typing on a laptop keyboard.

ISpire_LaptopLift_InUse_Left

Add a keyboard manager to the desk to ensure that regular typing of papers doesn’t become a strain on wrists and arms.

No Distractions

Schedule when a child should study. Set specific times after school when the bedroom door is closed and they can get to work.

Emphasize a no cell phone zone during the designated study period.

20618

Keep it Organized

Knowing where all your supplies are kept for each assignment offers a sense of well-being and accomplishment. Let kids select their own desktop organizers so that it fits their needs and feels like a personalized place of study.

Home Office Makeovers Made Easy

Is it Time for a Home Office Makeover?

Publication1

Working at home can lead to the dilemma of “getting used” to your surroundings. You may not realize how issues of comfort , lighting, noise and organization are affecting your performance.  Much like reading in dim light, you don’t realize how much easier it is to read the page until someone flings back the curtains.

Comfort

Making your home office comfortable may seem like a no-brainer, but we are far too likely to compromise and adapt to uncomfortable chairs and awkward work spaces.  Make sure your chair fits you and not the other way around, and  take the time to notice if back pain or leg pain are becoming too common. Choosing the proper foot and back support for home office work stations can help. If you work at a laptop, setting it at the proper angle can prevent strain in wrists and hands. Even excessive use of your tablet can cause strain on your wrists. Use wrist and keyboard supports if you are working long term at the computer.   Use document holders so you are  not peering down at papers on your desk while typing.

Lighting

Poor lighting can cause you adapt by squinting. Lots of sunshine may seem like a good thing, except that it may be causing screen glare on your computer without you realizing it. Make sure  you have adequate lighting for both day and night work.  Also, be aware of your environment throughout the day  to see if the change in natural light is not going from gorgeous to glaring.

Noise Issues

Keeping a quiet work area can be difficult at home, especially with kids home for summer.  Making quiet time rules during your work hours helps you not only get work done in peace but also helps structure your time with the kids.

Organization

Staying organized can sometimes be harder at home where expectations of organization are not as strict as in an office setting. Ensure your files and desktop don’t degrade into clutter. Take time at the end of each work day to evaluate your clutter ratio and fix it then and there before it gets worse.

Breathing Room

Comfort sometimes can be invisible. Like the air in your home office. Make sure you are not situated under a vent circulating dusty air in an enclosed space.  This is especially important if you suffer from allergies. Change your air filters and use air purifiers if necessary so you are not contributing to a sick office at home.