Effective and efficient organization of work takes ergonomic findings into account with regard to workstations. This is because an ergonomically designed workstation can save time, prevent symptoms of fatigue in employees, and minimize employees’ health risks. Work-related physical strain is reduced, even if the employee uses the same workstation for years. An ergonomic workstation always meets occupational safety and health requirements. The same is not true in reverse, however, because ergonomics goes beyond occupational safety and health regulations. But the goal of ergonomics involves more than merely preventing occupational accidents and job-related health problems; working conditions at an ergonomic workstation are arranged to ensure optimum employee performance.
A number of requirements must be taken into account for ergonomic design:
During this process, it is important to note that every employee has his or her own individual skills and deficits that should be taken into account in designing the work bench.
Research on work and the workplace takes not only medical findings, but also psychological findings, into account. This means that one very important factor in ergonomics is a sense of physical comfort, which is based on assessment of a work object and on the user’s subjective evaluation of it.
With regard to a work bench, that sense of comfort is based first and foremost on the unit’s functionality (how easy the work bench is to use) and secondly on its design (how it looks, for example whether it looks “cheap” or high-quality).
A work bench’s functionality ensures, first, that the work bench is suitable for its intended purpose. For example, it must be sturdy enough. In addition, the work bench may have features that make it easier for users to go about their work, such as an electrical height-adjustment system, well organized arrangement of information, or options for individual adjustment and adding equipment and accessories. These additional features also affect the work bench’s functionality.
Ergonomics in workstation design implies optimized performance, thereby exceeding occupational safety and health requirements.
The design of the work bench also aims to set up the user’s work in a comfortable and pleasant environment. This might mean, for instance, that employees like to sit at their work bench because they like the work bench itself, and that this expression of appreciation is also equated with positive commitment. (“At my work, the bosses aren’t the only ones with high-end equipment at their workstations.”)
In summary, ergonomics aims to achieve two goals: creating the best possible working conditions for people while also achieving maximum productivity, which can boost the company’s profitability. This insight can be crucial in deciding to invest in a work bench system.