With work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) becoming commonplace, the importance of ergonomics is undeniable. Due to long, high-intensity shifts, dispatchers are at higher risk of developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders, which can contribute to as much as one-third of absences and turnover.
Ergonomics in the PSAP
24-7 dispatch centers house employees of all shapes and sizes, with varying needs. High stress levels and extensive technology interaction cause additional risks, intensifying the need for a proper ergonomics/human factors health program. Estimated to save $4-$6 for every $1 invested, these three points will help lead you to successful retention and injury reduction:
- Get ahead of injuries and bad ergonomics by making purchases to fit your company’s standard for ergonomic and health initiatives. Equip spaces with chairs, workstations, and other accessories that are built with employee health and satisfaction in mind.
- Recognize dispatcher needs when considering workspace layout, job tasks, and work processes before taking action. By fitting the job demands to the workers, balancing their capabilities and limitations, worker morale increases, helping retention and injury reduction.
- Reducing/eliminating risk factors will help to get the most out of your specialized workstations. Provide employees with education on the safe and correct use of tools, as well as giving them the information needed to detect early MSD symptoms. Additionally, importance needs to be placed on creating a space where employees feel comfortable reporting hazards and injuries before they cause serious or lasting issues.
Ergonomically Designed Workstations
Watson builds environmentally conscious workstations with the goal of minimizing MSD injuries as a top priority. Focusing on posture and the ability for employees to move with ease between sitting and standing, Watson’s electronic height adjustable workstations are a standout option.
Electronic height adjustable workstations will set you on the right path to total ergonomics. There is a long list of advantages, including:
- A perfect fit for all employees.
- Added flexibility.
- Reduced risk factors.
- Easy access for IT and maintenance.
- Improved worker retention, health, and satisfaction.
- Quick and effortless adjustment, offering greater use.
- Increased productivity.
- Ease when changing technologies.
- The ability to move from sitting to standing.
- Accommodation to a revolving workforce.
Watson’s console workstations are designed for movement, offering an easy, wide range of motion, surface and monitor height adjustment, monitor focal depth adjustment, and reach zones.
Ergonomics Beyond the Workstation
Far too often, ergonomics are forgotten away from the desk. Successful ergonomics involves work beyond the traditional workstation to help facilitate health and focus in all areas of life.
Added value for employees comes from additional workplace programs and amenities. Providing employees with continued education on ergonomics as well as information boards or digital hubs with health tips, organized group activities promoting exercise, and/or community partnerships offering discounts to local gyms, yoga studios, etc. contributes heavily to a healthy, positive work environment.
By offering proper instruction, knowledge, and continued assistance in regards to employee’s individual ergonomic issues, workplace injuries will decrease while employee productivity and morale will skyrocket.
Watson understands the stress and long term issues that improper dispatch furniture and equipment can cause on employees’ bodies. As part of our recognition of this industry’s unique challenges - we provide customers with a document addressing ergonomics specifically within a 24-7 dispatch environment. This document offers a review of current guidelines and addresses the issues of maintaining health in that work environment. For further information, read our Ergonomics Whitepaper.