Definition - What does Working Height mean?
Working height is a spatial level, plane, or surface for performing duties and tasks where biomechanical factors including mobility, posture, and strength influence an individual’s ability to perform a job with efficiency and productivity. Sedentary work and manual labor carry ergonomic implications for individuals of different body size, health, and stature based on job functions coinciding to work requirements. The elbow or waist represents the center of gravity for a working height surface, and executing a duty or task outside this parameter, including reaching or bending, increases physical strain on the body.
WorkplaceTesting explains Working Height
The nature of a job can impact musculoskeletal structures of the body including ligaments, muscles, and tendons through repetitive work compounded by poor ergonomic measures to correct the problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) contribute to a high incidence rate of injuries that can lead to absenteeism, chronic disability, and marked health care expenditures for businesses. Simple ergonomic control methods can involve adjusting a workstation so that the working height conforms to the individual(s) using the equipment.
Many environmental circumstances in the workplace require employees to move objects or transfer items where a disparity between working height levels can slow or hinder productivity. In many situations, heavy equipment/machinery serves as an effective means for placing cumbersome materials at working heights considered otherwise unsafe for personnel. Employers can evaluate working conditions to determine the variable health risks that correlate to the anatomy of the human body. For instance, standing at a workstation continues to gain traction, but it can also restrict blood flow in the legs and back from persistent immobility leading to degenerative diseases.
Modern ergonomic solutions are available to employers to help accommodate their workforce comprising of distinct body proportions. While employees may still develop musculoskeletal diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and tendinitis, ergonomic workstations tailored for different working heights can deter injuries and even reduce workers' compensations claims.