Grants and awards can help
Michigan Healthy Community’s Ergonomics Awareness Program is again providing important incentive and recognition programs for University departments that recognize the importance of ergonomic-friendly work environments to help staff prevent sprains and strains.
MedRehab at Briarwood and East Ann Arbor Surgery are two units that benefited from the ERGO Grant Incentive Program last year. EAA Surgery used its grant for a leg transfer board so staff could move heavy equipment more easily, and MedRehab used its to buy customized tables for clinicians doing hand therapy.
“Staff and patients were getting into awkward postures doing hand therapy at the conventional tables,” says Paula Kartje, O.T.R., an occupational therapy supervisor who, with Lexie Muir-Pappas, O.T.R., C.H.T, championed and submitted the proposal. “Staff now do hand and upper body therapy without putting strain on their own bodies. Plus, right away our patients commented on how they felt better, too, with equipment that was the right size and shape.”
“We have received at least 50 grant proposals every year,” says Suzanne Bade, M.P.H., O.T.R., chairperson of the Michigan Healthy Community Ergonomics Awareness Program. When proposals are reviewed, they are prioritized based on the level of risk for injuries and the potential impact the changes will have on enhancing employee safety and comfort at work.
“We also present Ergonomic Solutions Awards to commend departments that have already taken steps to enhance safety through ergonomics in their areas,” says Bade.
The awards were created to applaud departments that implemented new or modified equipment, training or work process redesigns.
The next round of applications for grants and awards is coming during National Ergonomics Month in October. So start thinking now about how you can go ERGO in your unit.
Learn more about Michigan Healthy Community.