In the realm of global enterprises, the importance of ergonomic considerations within workspaces is often overlooked.

Keep reading as we explain the importance of adhering to local regulations and how you can evolve your ergonomics program.

Diversity in regulatory landscape

Organizations must recognise the diverse and expansive nature of the legal parameters governing ergonomic risks. Failure to implement appropriate policies can result in significant financial ramifications.

Uncertainties in compliance

The alignment of ergonomic risk assessments across jurisdictions and the compliance of equipment supplied in one region with all deployed regions pose uncertainties. This is particularly relevant in the context of blurred distinctions between employer obligations and employee responsibilities in home or hybrid work setups.

Varying ergonomic requirements

Scrutinizing regulations for operations may reveal that templates, processes and procedures effective in one location fall short of meeting requirements in another. Here are some high-level examples of varying ergonomic requirements:

  • All EU countries and the UK: Follow the EEC directive with specific requirements, including risk assessment, information and training, and health surveillance, such as eye examinations.
  • Australia and New Zealand: DSE (ergonomics) is implied as a hazard in legislation.
  • Switzerland: OLT 3 Section 3 Workstations article 5 mandates workers’ ability to benefit from an outside view.
  • Bulgaria: Specifies periodicity of risk assessment based on age.
  • South Africa: Ergonomics Regulations 2019 require recording and retaining risk assessments for a minimum of 40 years.
  • Brazil: NR17 Ergonomics provides minimum requirements for seats used at workstations.
  • Lithuania: Working with video terminals – safety and health requirements mandate specific space requirements.
  • Canada – Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories & Nunavut: Guidelines for addressing Musculoskeletal Injuries (MSI) symptoms.

Managing your ergonomics program

The initial step involves conducting a comprehensive gap assessment to establish a baseline. Assess regulatory compliance against global or local programs, identifying areas with jurisdictional requirements related to eye examinations, ergonomic evaluations, education mandates, and risk assessments.

Adapting to specific requirements

In cases where specific legislative or technical requirements exist, assess them individually for integration into the comprehensive program. Consider factors such as ease of implementation, potential conflicts with other regulations, and cost implications.

Adopting a risk-based approach

Highlight the importance of adopting a risk-based approach, considering potential harm, liability, and enforcement environments. This approach ensures a nuanced understanding of the challenges and facilitates effective decision-making.

Modifying your ergonomics program

Based on the assessments, modify the ergonomics program, specifying variations locally or by referencing local procedures. Managing a effective and compliant ergonomics program may seem challenging, so break down the requirements by location. This will make the process more manageable and easier to maintain a cohesive program, which prioritizes worker health and safety.

Regulatory service and gap analysis

Cardinus can help you to understand the legal complexities of your global or regional ergonomics program, answering any regulatory questions you may have.

We have real-time ergonomics regulation reports for all U.S. states and 80 countries worldwide. These reports outline the specific ergonomics legislation in each location, detailing both employer and employee responsibilities. You can request two free ergonomics reports for your chosen U.S. states or countries.

We also offer a gap analysis service to assess your existing processes. This ensures alignment with current regulations and offers guidance on necessary steps for maintaining compliance.

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