Ergonomics that Empowers the Employee

Ergonomics that Empower Employees


Ergonomics is the science of fitting the job to the worker. Intervention aims to reduce exposure to movements and postures that put the body at risk for injury. At Tidewater, we have designed a program to identify and address risk factors for musculoskeletal injury and causes for workplace discomfort. We use expertise in the fields of biomechanics and human kinesiology to optimize employee work stations and habits. We offer comprehensive ergonomic analysis services to:

  • Encourage movement
  • Reduce risk for injury
  • Promote work efficiency
  • Promote wellness

The Tidewater Difference

Traditional Ergonomics focuses on designing the work station to fit the employee. As part of our Built-to-Move behavior-based safety program, we focus on empowering the employee to work safely and pain-free in his/her work environment. It is an education-focused, movement-promotion program that is part of our wellness, injury prevention and safety services.

Conditions addressed with Tidewater’s Built-to-Move Ergonomics program include:

  • Neck, Shoulder, Back and/or Wrist Pain
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Numbness in Thumb and Fingers
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Headaches
  • Tennis Elbow

A Philosophy of Movement and Work Recovery

We promote incorporating more activity into daily work life as described by Dr. Levine with the Mayo clinic in his NEAT program.1 We teach Work Recovery including Micro-break and Counter-Strain techniques. We also encourage positional variability, including alternating sitting, standing and walking. Our ultimate goal is to increase the amount of activity you incorporate into your daily routine.

The Three-Step Evaluation Process

Tidewater’s Ergonomics program includes a comprehensive three-step evaluation process that ensures success and wellness. Employees are given the tools to recognize and reduce risks for injury and work-related discomfort. It’s a collaborative approach focused on employee education allowing the employee to take command of their work station and make risk reduction behavior adjustments.

1. On-Site Assessment

We conduct an in-depth work station assessment that identifies risk factors for work-related injury and discomfort. We use the Modified Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) which identifies baseline musculoskeletal injury risk level and includes work flow evaluation, symptom identification, and work station metrics. Stressful movement patterns, work habits and work postures are analyzed and photographs are taken to aid in evaluation.

2. Recommendations

We give risk-reduction recommendations that are cost-effective and practical. In most cases, issues can be resolved within the existing workstation, without the need for buying equipment for office modifications. We provide behavior-based safety tips and training on proper work postures. If necessary, we adjust the physical workstation and make related recommendations.

3. Accountability

Accountability is the key to success and benefits and a positive ROI are not fully realized without it. We are committed to ensuring that identified issues are properly addressed and provide support long after the initial assessment. We provide:

  • The Tidewater Ergonomics Assessment Report of analysis, evaluations and recommendations
  • Employee Support by way of phone, email and in-person communication for six months

Significant Return On Investment (ROI)

A large body of research indicates a strong ROI from ergonomic analysis and intervention. A 2010 report by a team of Harvard University health economists, published in the journal Health Affairs, found that the average medical cost savings per dollar invested in wellness programs was $3.27. The reports finding was based on an analysis of more than 20 peer reviewed ROI studies. 327%

ergonomics-ptThe Tidewater Ergonomics

Assessment Report Includes:

  • Assessment of work tasks, work flow, and job requirements
  • Identification of injury risk factors
  • Biomechanical and ergonomic principles information
  • A base-line Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) risk level identification score.
  • Work station measurements and metrics
  • Current symptoms description map
  • Photographs of workstation
  • Final recommendations
  • Follow-up support schedule