Ergonomical Problems Like Back And Neck Pains Cost Singapore $3.5 Billion A Year
The Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Institute estimates that Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WRMSD) and other ergonomical problems result in an economic loss of $3.5 billion a year to Singapore1. This is approximately 1% of Singapore GDP. This may not seem much. However, we would double our annual productivity growth without problems relating to ergonomics. Examples include back pains, neck pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. This is when compared to the average 1% productivity growth recorded in the past decade.
Moreover, back pains will get greater attention with back injuries. This is because risks relating to ergonomics will be classified under WRMSD in the WSH Statistics for 2014. Back pain injuries were previously classified under minor injuries. However, they are found to be caused by manual lifting and carrying of heavy materials.
To help firms tackle this issue, the WSH Council launched a set of guidelines on improving ergonomics in the workplace. These include tips on how to lift heavy objects safely and good office workstation design.
All in all, these efforts will put us the right path to better control worsening problems relating to ergonomics in Singapore.
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- Opening Speech by Mr Hawazi Daipi, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Manpower at the Workplace Ergonomics Forum, 27 March 2014, 11:00 AM, Singapore Institute of Management