Ergonomic Equipment: How We Help Put It to the Test

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Todd Meier

One thing you may not realize about the Workplace Possibilities program is that we do more than just recommend ergonomic equipment to employees: We actually help test it. Our ergonomic experts and vocational consultants trial all of the assistive equipment we provide to employees to ensure it will help mitigate as much of an employee’s pain and discomfort as possible.

We regularly meet with our manufacturing vendors to review the latest ergonomic innovations. What’s more, we’re also able to provide feedback from our customers about their experience with certain pieces. This feedback has led to updated products and added features to meet the needs of more individuals.

Feedback Leads to New Features

Many of our ergonomic evaluations involve employees who require alternating sitting and standing intervals during the workday — but some employees have an old desk that’s not conducive to this arrangement.

There are a number of products that sit on top of a desk, no holes or assembly required, to elevate a desk’s workspace. While providing one of these desks can help with sitting and standing, it could inadvertently aggravate or worsen an employee’s condition. This is because many of these platforms elevate the computer keyboard, so employees have to type with their hands higher than their elbows, putting them at risk for musculoskeletal issues.

We saw this situation arise a few times. Because we have a partnership with the manufacturer of one of these products, we knew of an adjustable bracket that attached to the keyboard tray to allow it to drop below the work surface. After relaying a few instances in which we used this modification for a client, the manufacturer responded and designed this drop-down tray feature into their 2014 product lineup.

Collaboration Leads to Confidence

For me, it’s so rewarding to see a concept come together as a result of customer feedback, testing in our lab and collaboration with partners who can bring these ideas to life. We now can confidently recommend this manufacturer’s product when the situation calls for this particular configuration.

Enthusiasm and a ceaseless desire to give the best solutions to our customers drive our passion. The energy/synergy in the room when troubleshooting leads to an ergonomic epiphany. That’s what makes our jobs so rewarding — knowing that it improves employees’ well-being.