Laughter abounded at last month’s Green Team Quarterly meeting, as Bridget Marrs playfully briefed the Green Team captains on the dos and don’ts of workplace ergonomics. The Green Team, a network of staff and faculty who advocate for the integration of sustainability into their departments’ daily operations, listened closely to Marrs, the Occupational Health, Safety, and Training Coordinator from Wake Forest Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), and made note of information they could bring back to their own offices.
Ergonomics is an applied science that focuses on finding optimal fit between workers and their work environments. An ergonomically sound work environment operates to minimize work-related injuries. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), or ergonomic injuries, account for 33% of all illness and injury cases that result in missed days of work, making ergonomic considerations critical for the financial sustainability of any institution.
In her presentation, Marrs emphasized that ergonomic improvements were possible on any budget and creating an ergonomically sound workplace was often a matter of creatively rearranging what someone already has in place. For those who wanted to see ergonomic work space options in person, Marrs informed the Green Team of the EHS ergonomics lab, located at 2430 A, Reynolda Rd. The lab, opened on April 16th of this year, is set up for visitors to “test drive” different systems.
After the presentation, fourteen Green Team members scheduled personal ergonomics assessments. These assessments, also conducted by Marrs, are free to all Wake Forest staff members. If you would like to schedule a visit to the ergonomics lab or a personal ergonomics assessment, contact Bridget Marrs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Annabel Lang, Wake Forest Fellow for the Office of Sustainability