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Study: Save money with risk reduction

Study: Save money with risk reduction


Data compiled for a study on the benefits of RollerMouse Red reveals that use of the ergonomic mouse decreases discomfort with as much as 33%.

This is data compiled from Seattle Light & Power using an online risk management tool to show the effectiveness of multiple individuals using the Contour RollerMouse Red. It is important to know that this is not a singular case study in a true sense but simply data pulled from our online risk management tool and from speaking with supervisors and employees.

There are currently 14 users of the RollerMouse Red and their risk levels when they were first issued the mouse were as follows:

  • 8 were measured to be high risk
  • 5 were measured to be medium risk
  • 1 was measured at an elevated low risk

All of the users had elevated discomfort levels in the shoulders, neck, elbows and hands. Discomfort levels as measured by our risk tool are in the categories of none, occasional, frequent, and constant, with constant being a level that if left unaddressed, normally leads to a loss time injury. All of the individuals using this device were measured with discomfort levels in the body part show above at either frequent or constant. The low risk individual was at the beginning of some shoulder issues and it was something I wanted to see if we could eliminate it quickly with a mouse change.

All high-risk employees are followed up within 30 days of new equipment issue, while medium risk employees are followed up within 60 days, and low risk 90 days. This is a standard follow up for all employees and is not used strictly for this data.

Initial follow ups showed excellent results in reducing discomfort in the areas mentioned above for the users of the Red. Based on data from our risk tool the average reduction in overall risk scores attributed to changes in input devices was:

  • 42% for High Risk
  • 37% for Medium risk
  • 12% for Low risk
After 6 months there was an additional 20-33% decrease in discomfort directly related to the shoulders, neck, elbows, and hands with the biggest decreases in the shoulders and elbows. All employees are due to submit annual assessments (required now here at Seattle City Light) so we will be able to see if there are any additional decreases that could be directly related to Contour Red in support of their overall ergonomic health.

Although difficult to measure directly, there has been an increase in each of the employee’s productivity as they are not needing to take an excessive number of breaks during the day due to discomfort. The average loss time per day as measured by our tool was 38 minutes prior to using the Red. After 6 months of usage and incorporating other ergonomic remedies, the loss time is under 30 minutes. This translates to an efficiency increase of 347.6 recouped productive minutes over the course of the year for the group.  From a monetary viewpoint that is approximately 289K in recouped lost productivity (using an average salary for our workers).

Of the 14 people, 6 were using other types of roller input devices, 2 were using simple ergonomic input devices, and 6 had standard input devices. None were using ergonomic keyboards such as the MS Sculpt, Logitech Wave, or other contoured type keyboards. I did transition 8 of the individuals to either the Evoluent or Kinesis with no 10 key. Discussions with these employees showed limited 10 key usage and no reason for them to have it attached to the keyboard. Everyone else had standard keyboards.

It must be noted that with many of these cases, there was more than one ergonomic corrective action initiated but as part of the overall ergonomics process Contour Red was an effective tool in decreasing the discomfort of the users and helping them become more productive and pain free over time.

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