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Ergonomics is only half the solution.

If you want to prevent workplace injuries, it's a good idea to start with an ergonomically designed workplace and provide ergonomics training to your employees. However, if you stop at ergonomics and training, you may not achieve the full potential for cost reduction that is available to your organization.


It's important to note that ergonomics training alone is not enough to reduce workplace injuries. A study published in the Journal of Medicine showed that ergonomics training was only slightly effective in reducing lower back injuries in physically demanding jobs such as manufacturing, warehouse, and distribution work. Although the trained group was instructed in safe lifting and handling techniques, they still had comparable rates of lower back injuries to the untrained control group. The only measurable improvement in the trained group was increased knowledge of safe working behavior, which unfortunately was not put into practice.


This study doesn't mean that ergonomics training isn't important. It just shows that ergonomics training alone is not an effective strategy for reducing workplace injuries. Some movements and tasks simply cannot be modified, and poor lifting habits can be difficult for experienced employees to change. Additionally, many workers may lack the strength, flexibility, or stamina required to carry out the lifting techniques that they are taught.

The other more effective half.

Investing in DataFit New Hire - Physical Capability Assessments (PCA) can be an important part of the injury prevention plan for physically demanding industries like manufacturing, transportation, construction, and even healthcare. PCA evaluates job candidates for their ability to meet the physical demands of the job, providing the data needed for a company to hire those who are physically capable of performing the job safely and without injury. This ensures that your investment in ergonomics and safety training is maximized.


A proven process.

Our case studies have shown that the PCA, particularly for a national food manufacturing company, is effective in lowering injury rates and reducing direct and indirect injury costs. The study revealed an ROI of $11.50 for every $1 spent on PCA for various positions at multiple plants. The cost savings over two years were $8,114,279.


In conclusion, investing in Physical Capability Assessments takes the guesswork out of determining which candidates are suitable for the job and which ones may struggle with the physical demands of their jobs, which may lead to costly workplace injuries. By hiring capable candidates, companies can ensure that they have the safest, most efficient, and most productive employees.

About the author

Philip Stotter, MS, CEP

Philip Stotter, MS, CEP has over 25+ years of experience in the medical, health, wellness, and professional sports industries. Clinician turned business developer, Philip is a sought-after industry speaker and professional consultant. His ground-breaking work in injury prevention, paired with the science of human movement, has put him at the forefront of product development with a multidisciplinary approach that integrates physiology, biomechanics, cutting-edge technologies, and data-driven research.