Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island has seen a significant improvement in its lost workdays and Workers' Compensation costs since formalizing its ergonomics program in 2000.
Although the company had addressed ergonomic issues in the past, a stronger program was needed when administrators began noticing a rise in lost workdays from musculoskeletal disorders.
The company's safety committee formalized a program by first increasing awareness among its employees. The ergonomics team then began to assess employee workstations. Based upon these observations, workstations were changed, including the installation of new office equipment. Other changes to the company's ergonomics program over the past two years include:
Since 1999, the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island ergonomics program has yielded several positive results. Lost work days decreased from 345 in 1999 to 104 in 2000 – a 70 percent reduction. Workers' Compensation costs also dropped significantly – from $227,620 in 1999 to $26,010 in 2000 – a decline of nearly 89 percent.
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