DIY – do it yourself. We do it for all kinds of things – taxes, investments, home improvements, diets, workouts, photography, and a whole slough of other things. Why not ergonomics? “That’s serious stuff Steve, we need to leave that to the professionals.” I disagree, here’s why.
DIY just might be your secret weapon to resolving ergonomic injuries before they ever start. A very smart risk manager in the Central Valley area figured out that she could require employees to perform an ergonomic self-evaluation and not only improve the performance of the employee, but reduce claims years later by simply requiring the self-evaluation prior to seeing a 3rd party professional.
So simple, so genius.
Most fixes are simple – adjust a chair up or down, raise the keyboard, move the monitor forward. These are simple things that employees can do and should do, especially when they are uncomfortable.
The quicker the solution, the less accumulation/repetition there is
The faster someone can solve the problem, the less likely they are to repeat the movement that ultimately causes the pain. Most employees won’t ask for a professional evaluation because they think it brings about negative reactions from upper management. That they will somehow go on the “bad” employee list. They wait until it is too late. The DIY evaluation let’s people help themselves without negative feelings.
It’s not DIY, it’s DIYWI
Do it yourself with instructions. Sure it’s simple and sure you are doing it yourself, but you are not doing it without instructions. While you wouldn’t try to put together a piece of IKEA furniture without their wonderful instructions, you shouldn’t send your employees into the world of ergonomics without some direction. Programs like ergoselfie.com help guide employees through the evaluation process with pictures and videos. At the very least, a printed handout should be provided.
So, the next time you pick up the phone to call out the professional, ask yourself, would an ergonomic self evaluation be beneficial to the employee?