Change, people, and assessing ergonomic factors

Health and safety | May 2016

If your organisation is going through a change programme, there will be numerous health and safety matters to consider. And where space planning’s concerned, there’s one key question you really need to answer: are you giving sufficient consideration to your people?

Minimise the challenges of workplace design

Here at System Concepts we’re convinced that assessing ergonomic factors is a vital part of any change management project. That’s because an ergonomic, customer centred approach can minimise many of the problems that can arise when implementing a new workplace design.

Improve workforce performance

Interactive meeting in a business boardroom

Your space planning exercise should concentrate on people and their needs, such as: working methods and procedures; furniture specifications; IT hardware; software; and organisational and business issues.

You need to identify any potential problems early on, and devise solutions that address these – while remaining practical and meeting business requirements. Get it right, and the prizes are considerable. Providing safe, comfortable and effective working methods, practices and environments will make a real difference to your workforce’s efficiency and productivity.

Win:Win

Matching your working environment and equipment to the abilities and preferences of staff can:

  • Increase productivity and efficiency
  • Raise satisfaction
  • Decrease errors/increase accuracy
  • Lower training costs
  • Decrease maintenance costs
  • Reduce levels of musculoskeletal and visual discomfort, fatigue and stress
  • Lower incidence of accidents and injuries
  • Decrease sickness and absenteeism rates

The measurable benefits of space planning

We have seen customer centred approaches result in measurable client benefits in all the above areas. Clients use our Space Planning services in a number of different forms:

  1. Discovering and learning from good practice.
  2. Gaining expert advice on proposed building, refurbishment, and equipment plans drawn up by architects, consulting engineers, manufacturers, designers, etc.
  3. Accelerating the development of in-house ergonomics policies for purchasing, procurement, and implementation.
  4. Securing an independent evaluation of proposed approaches against job/task requirements and business goals.

Customer centred approach

As with high-tech product design, we advocate minimising risk through a customer centred process. This includes liaising closely with the staff affected by proposed changes, or who are experiencing problems with their current environment/equipment. Our experience shows that in-depth operational and technical learning results from this approach.

Detailed job and task analyses are further cornerstones of effective change management, ensuring that new equipment and working environments meet business goals and staff needs. At System Concepts we utilise a wide variety of specialist methods to achieve this, including:

  • Questionnaire surveys
  • Independent ergonomics evaluations
  • Consultation exercises and interviews
  • Videotaping of any tasks which are likely to cause a health and safety risk, e.g. repetitive keying tasks, manual handling, document processing, etc.
  • Link analysis
  • Flow charts
  • Process mapping
  • Activity modelling
  • Evaluating plans
  • Risk assessments

Independent, focused assistance

Change management is a high stakes business designed to improve performance: no organisation can afford to get it wrong. As such, many enterprises value the independence, focused expertise and track record that an expert consultancy like System Concepts can offer.

An effective change programme demands multidisciplinary expertise, including in human factors, ergonomics and health and safety. We recommend adopting a customer-centred approach from the start of any project, maximising performance gains while managing risk and minimising problems throughout your implementation.

Expert insights on assessing ergonomic factors

Speech bubbleFor expert help in assessing ergonomic factors and optimising your change programme, just get in touch.

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