Robert Pater is director of Portland, Ore.-based Strategic Safety Associates (www.movesmart.com). Their MoveSMART® system has been employed by companies worldwide. Robert can be reached at (503) 977-2094 or rpater@MasteringSafety.com.
If you’ve “picked off the low hanging fruit” through cost-effective ergonomic design and retooling â€” and still have related injuries, consider getting your people more involved as part of the solution. Experience shows that motivating all levels of organizational members to become more receptive to ergonomics and to practice better ergonomic behaviors can result in greater receptivity and morale and significant reductions in ergonomic injuries.
Safety professionals are change agents. We attempt to help others adjust how they work, the equipment they use, how they perceive their environment, the decisions they make and their willingness to act in a more considered manner. Change means letting go of the old ways of doing things, taking some risks (after all, there is no guarantee that the new behavior, intervention, policy, equipment will actually be an improvement over the old ways). Having courage can help us overcome this internal caution-versus-change conflict.