More and more business owners in Illinois recognize the benefits of ergonomics in workplaces. It is becoming clear that ergonomic changes can reduce the costs of work injury-related sprains and strains, and bring about direct and indirect savings linked to improved productivity. It was recently reported that ergonomic changes could even benefit forklift operators.
Safety authorities say the lack of lumbar support and the damaging vibrations to which forklift operators are exposed on sit-down lift trucks can be eliminated by seats equipped with suspension and weight adjustment facilities. Electronic controls such as fingertip hydraulics and steer-by-wire devices can replace manual control. These modifications could prevent forklift operators from developing musculoskeletal injuries over time.
Other advancements in forklift design include the use of remote control to limit the number of times the operator must mount and dismount the vehicle. Furthermore, spotlights are added to protect pedestrian workers and improve the view of the operator. Cameras can be added to the forks of the lift truck to limit the need for the frequent craning of the operator’s neck.
Although awareness of the value of ergonomic changes is growing, many workers remain at risk of suffering musculoskeletal injuries. Any victim of such a work injury in Illinois can pursue financial assistance through the workers’ compensation program of the state. However, proving that such an injury is work-related could be challenging. Fortunately, the skills of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can be utilized to assist with the claims process. With the support and guidance of a lawyer, an injured worker might receive compensation for medical expenses and lost wages if the injuries caused temporary disability.