Ergonomics problems cost Singapore $3.5b annually

The Workplace Safety and Health Council says ergonomic-related health issues costs the Singapore economy $3.5 billion a year. 

Poor ergonomics can lead to work-related musculoskeletal disorders which affects muscles, tendons and nerves. 

They are often caused by prolonged exposure to work activities involving forceful manual exertions, awkward postures, and repetitive actions. 

To help firms tackle the issue, several initiatives are being rolled out. 

Speaking at an industry forum, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower, Hawazi Daipi, a set of guidance materials has been developed to help employers apply good ergonomic practices. 

These include tips on how to lift heavy objects safely and good office workstation design. 

Mr Hawazi says companies will also get help in funding under the WorkPro scheme when they undertake workplace ergonomic redesign. 

An e-learning module will also be developed to provide an understanding of common ergonomic risks, and the measures to address these risks. 

And to get a more complete picture of the injuries caused by poor ergonomic practices, Mr Hawazi says back injuries due to ergonomic risks will be classified under work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the Workplace Safety and Health Statistics.