Cornell University Ergonomics Web

Why the OSHA Ergonomics Standard makes good business sense!

Ergonomics is a well established applied science that is now over 50 years old. Ergonomics is the 'science of work' and is devoted to maximizing human performance without causing injuries or detrimentally affecting performance. Ergonomics is a BENEFIT for companies not a cost.

The new OSHA Ergonomics standard takes a basic, systematic approach and offers businesses a common-sense strategy for eliminating unnecessary musculoskeletal disorders from the workplace. Here are some reasons why this standard makes good business sense:

  1. Workers are the main cost for modern  businesses, and businesses need to attract and retain the best talent. You don't want to hire then inadvertently injure workers - that benefits no-one. Ergonomics prevents this.
  2. Musculoskeletal disorders are entirely preventable and quite unnecessary injuries that cost the US economy billions of dollars and inflict misery and suffering on affected workers.
  3. When ergonomics is an integral part of basic job and workplace design NOT an afterthought, it's no more expensive to choose a good ergonomic design for a workplace than to choose a bad design - the difference isn't economics it's education! 
  4. Good ergonomics programs focus on ways to reduce costs to companies by:
  5. Good ergonomics programs are ALWAYS cost-effective - they save more than they cost. Many studies have shown this.

The OSHA standard gives companies until October 15, 2001 to implement a basic program of educating workers in Ergonomics, the prevention of Musculoskeletal disorders, and the requirements of the regulation. It's in a company's best interests to implement a basic ergonomics program as soon as possible, and to begin to reap the benefits of more effective work practices.

For more information on the OSHA Ergonomics standard see:


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