Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Thinking Ergonomically Can Help You Economically

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Thinking Ergonomically Can Help You Economically

Article excerpt

That troublesome loan customer may be a pain in the neck, but if you really want to know about pain, try working as a proof machine operator.

The typical proof machine calls for operator movements that just don't match the abilities of the usual human body. As a result, says Ian M. Chong, an ergonomics expert, proof operators are highly prone to back and left-arm problems. Chong, a speaker at ABA's National Security, Audit, and Risk Management Conference earlier this year, is an analyst with Ergonomics, Inc., Seattle, a consulting firm.

It's the bottom line--maybe literally

Making the tools and furniture of bank employees' tasks more suitable to their bodies--the essential function of ergonomics--isn't just a matter of corporate kindness. It's in the bank's own interest Take the cost of replacing trained, experienced staff who have been crippled through inattention to ergonomics. Think of the costs of workman's compensation claims. Think too of lost productivity due to eyestrain and such.

Ergonomic solutions need not cost huge amounts of money. Chong noted that one expensive desk-edge cushion available in office catalogs could be imitated quite nicely with 98 cents worth of foam pipe insulation.

On the other hand, spending lots of money on "ergonomically correct" equipment doesn't guarantee anything either. There are some devices that can cause more harm than good.

Home-grown solutions

Some of these problems can be solved by researching the issue, or hiring a consultant that has done so. …

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