Voices of Cority – Solving Ergonomic Challenges with Technology

Ergo Interview Blog Office Photo Cority

A conversation with Cority’s Product Marketing Manager, Kim Moull, on ergonomic program challenges and solutions. 

Recently, we sat down with Cority’s Product Marketing Manager, Kim Moull, to discuss her career as a professional ergonomist and her role within Cority’s Product team. In this interview, we discuss: 

  1. Common challenges faced by ergonomic teams today 
  2. Unique challenges presented by hybrid and remote work models 
  3. The role technology plays in enhancing ergonomic programs for a healthier workforce 

Cority: Tell us about your experience as an Ergonomist and what led you to a career in the field.

Kim Moull (KM): While completing a master’s degree in kinesiology, with a focus on biomechanics, I became increasingly interested in learning about how human performance could be optimized in workplace settings. This interest drove my decision to pursue a career as an ergonomist. After university, I joined an ergonomics consulting practice, servicing multiple industry sectors, including manufacturing and automotive.   

Acting as an ergonomic consultant, I worked closely with customers to optimize their risk management practices and discover innovative ways to redesign work processes and environment to maximize human performance and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. I always found that part of consulting particularly interesting and fun because the challenges and goals of a project could vary drastically from day to day. Supporting risk management practices at different organizational levels and helping EHS professionals improve their ergonomic program outcomes was also something I enjoyed. This work experience also supported me in achieving my Canadian Certified Ergonomist Professional (CCEP) accreditation. 

I was lucky to join Cority in May 2022 as a Product Marketing Manager where I currently support Cority’s Ergonomic solutions. During my tenure as an ergonomist, I saw first-hand the value that software solutions could offer customers to more effectively detect, evaluate and manage ergonomic risk, so I was intrigued in joining Cority to help guide customers on the value of digitally transforming their ergonomic programs.  

Cority: Describe your role as a Product Marketing Manager at Cority.

KM: My role largely involves understanding how ergonomic programs operate across different organizations and industry sectors, the challenges EHS professionals face in managing ergonomic risk in their business, and how those challenges may be resolved through software. The insights we acquire from this market research assist Cority’s Product Team to design, develop and deliver better solutions to help organizations more effectively manage ergonomic risk, reduce musculoskeletal injuries and improve human performance. While I’m fortunate to be able to draw upon my experience as an ergonomist in this role to understand customer needs, I am constantly learning new ideas and perspectives that help augment how we deliver our products and help me grow as an ergonomic professional. A particularly rewarding aspect of my role is the opportunity to directly engage and share insights with our customers, ensuring they remain well-informed about current and emerging best practices in the field. 

Cority: What are some of the biggest ergonomic program challenges you see ergonomics teams facing today?

KM: One of the most significant challenges revolves around the effective management of ergonomic risk amid resource constraints. Ergonomics programs are commonly deprioritized from a budget perspective in comparison to other health & safety needs. As a result, ergonomists and other relevant stakeholders are forced to manage their ergonomics programs with very limited resources. However, it can be challenging to determine what elements to prioritize when there is an overwhelming number of issues and risks to tackle. As an ergonomic program manager, it can very much feel like you’re “drinking from the firehose”. 

Directly tied to the issue of resource constraints is the struggle that ergonomic experts face in convincing decision makers of the value that can be realized from investing in proactive ergonomic risk interventions. The impact of poor ergonomic risk management is not always well-understood by senior leaders, partly because the relationship between ergo risk factors and their effect on people can be highly nuanced and complex. Therefore, developing a business case that clearly communicates the benefits of ergonomics program investment is paramount. 

Cority: We’ve seen many organizations shifting toward more remote and/or hybrid working models. How is this shift impacting ergonomic risk?

KM: During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a lot of organizations shift quickly to remote and hybrid work models for their office-based employees. Ergonomists and ergonomic teams very quickly discovered that they were facing new challenges, specifically in that they needed to figure out how to manage ergonomic risk in work settings for which they had zero visibility or control. Consequently, we’ve organizations increase their use of virtual one-on-one office ergonomic risk assessments to support ergonomic risk management for remote employees. These virtual assessments are now quite common, but many organizations still face a challenge to proactively manage ergonomic risk with these hybrids and remote working arrangements on a large scale. With hybrid work models, where an employee alternates between office and home environments, this work model has increased ergonomist workloads, as they now must assess and manage risk at two workstations, instead of just one. 

For organizations looking to proactively assess risk of hybrid working models for their entire office workforce, that can mean ergonomists are looking at double the number of assessments! But many ergonomics teams haven’t doubled in size, creating constraints on how to manage their ergonomic risks sustainably. Effective risk management in a hybrid working model relies on the worker’s access to furniture and equipment that will support an ideal workstation set-up based on their personal anthropometric data. It also relies on workers having the knowledge, motivation and tools to effectively assess and adjust their workstation when unacceptable risk is detected.  

Want to learn more? Check out our webinar, Hybrid work is here to stay: How to adapt your office ergonomics program to support flexible workers.

Cority: How do you think technology can be leveraged to help organizations address these challenges?

KM: Let me touch on a few key ways that technology can help. Software can streamline multiple aspects of an ergonomics program to help teams more effectively prioritize their resources and protect their most valuable resource – their time. When it comes to office ergonomics, software can be used to administer ergonomics training and self-assessments seamlessly and effectively. These self-directed assessment and training tools not only empower office workers with the knowledge they need to identify and resolve risks on their own but can also capture massive amounts of useful data to support more intelligent decision-making by ergonomics program managers and ergonomists.  

More specifically, ergonomics software assists program managers and ergonomists easily monitor employee risk and discomfort data across their entire organization, and proactively identify which individuals are in most need of additional support, training and expert intervention. Where employees are enabled to identify and resolve simple issues on their own, experts can dedicate more time tackling the more complex situations and risks that exist. Data collected from ergonomics software can also be used by program managers to more effectively quantify the ROI of the ergonomics program or specific ergonomic initiatives, helping to justify additional investment in the future. 

Cority: What are some emerging technologies you see having the most impact on ergonomic programs over the next few years?

KM: I think we’ll continue to see growing interest in technologies that enhance the ability to accurately and efficiently collect, analyze, and report on ergonomic risk data – especially from organizations with high rates of musculoskeletal injuries. Solutions that leverage AI to support risk assessments would fall under that category. For example, Cority offers an AI-driven ergonomics solution that enables organizations to collect and analyze computer risk exposure data at a massive scale, and we’re continuously exploring product enhancements that leverage AI to support other key program components.  

At Cority, we understand the challenges faced when managing ergonomic risk. Cority’s Office Ergonomics Solution simplifies enterprise-wide office ergonomics programs by empowering employees to take charge of how ergonomic risks are managed. Built by ergonomists for ergonomists, Cority is a one-stop shop that can assist businesses create a sustainable, effective, and workforce-driven ergonomics program that produces real results. 

To learn more about how Cority can help your business, check out our Office Ergonomics Solution or request a demo today!