In 2003, Texaco Belgium set up an initiative to replace standard QWERTY/AZERTY keyboards with ergonomic keyboards for their 220 employees in order to prevent repetitive stress injuries. Texaco Belgium had identified the significant health and safety risks RSI’s have on employees from a Chevron North America (USA and Canada) data analysis showing a 67% increase in repetitive stress injuries at office workstations concerning the previous 5 year time span. [Source: Doughty, Kelly, and Lopez, Kim. “Ergo ROI: Metrics for Profitability & Productivity.” ErgoSolutions Magazine.]
After scoping out all the ergonomic keyboard options on the market, Texaco Belgium selected the Goldtouch keyboard for employees. Since their keyboards had to be changed anyway in 2003, the calculated costs are the difference between the cost of a classic keyboard and the Goldtouch keyboard.
The RSI initiative Texaco Belgium put in place included the following phases:
- risk assessment and initial awareness raising
- implementing preventive measures
- encouraging safe behavior
- early reporting of complaints and rapid response intervention
[Source: De Greer M., Van den Broek K., Kenny L., Shearn P., Kuhn K,. Zwink E., Pinilla J. Pujol
L. Portillo J., Castriotta M., Di Mambro A. 2004. “Quality of the Working Environment and Productivity.” European Agency for Health and Safety.]
The table below quantifies the cost of the implementation and attributes the benefits not only to avoidance of cost but the effect on employee productivity from 2002 to 2005. The average cost savings per employee was $760/employee over the 3 year period of the study.
|Keyboards & Installation||-$13,156|
|Training & Learning||-$6,294||-$5,714||-$6,242|
|Reduced Health Costs||$1,675||$3,489||$4,829|
|Net Cash Flow||-$13,156||$12,403||$24,196||$35,010|
|Present Value of Cash Flows @10%||-$13,156||$13,644||$24,196||$26,304|
|Net Present Value||$45,548|
The increase is productivity as a result of ergonomic intervention is the result that employees who are in pain produce less because their focus is elsewhere. These employees can lack concentration and motivation, they take more frequent breaks, and overall spend less time at the computer; however, implementing ergonomics allows users to work more comfortably, allowing them to focus on their work and not on their pain.
Return on Investment:
The return on investment was based predominately on the findings from the ChevronTexaco intervention initiative and the Texaco Belgium intervention initiative. When factors were not directly available, the factors were extrapolated from the ChevronTexaco presentation, Texaco Belgium report, or from other available key industry findings. The ROI results presented here are completely consistent with the findings presented from the ChevronTexaco intervention initiative and the Texaco Belgium report.
|Return on Investment||Key Factors||Year 0||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
|Number of employees||30,000|
|Keyboards and Installation||$150.00||-$4,500,000|
|Training & Learning||-$1,622,690||-$1,393,628||-$1,566,060|
|Reduced Absenteeism||30 days||$870,978||$1,160,190||$1,603,447|
|Productivity Increases – Speed/Errors||$326,450||$444,140||$625,392|
|Productivity Increases – Other Related||$761,717||$1,036,326||$1,459,248|
|Reduced Heath Costs (avg. cost/claim)||$11,277||$1,701,589||$3,258,932||$4,512,465|
|Related Workers Compensation Costs||2.6||$3,847,576||$7,368,988||$10,203,436|
|Net Cash Flow||-$4,500,000||$5,885,618||$11,874,947||$16,837,928|
|Net Present Value (NPV)||10%||$23,315,153|
Note: The prevalent stated range of the indirect cost of RSI is 2.0 to 5.0 times the direct claim cost. This analysis is built on the lower end of the range of 2.6 times.
Source: De Greef , Marc., Van den Broek, Karla., ‘Quality of the working environment and productivity,
Research findings and case studies, 2006.
Source: Doughty, Kelly, and Lopez, Kim. “Ergo ROI: Metrics for Profitability & Productivity.” ErgoSolutions Magazine.
Source: Feys, B., Roets, T., Van Hurck, G., ‘Kosten-Batenanalyse ergonomisch toetsenbord,
Goldtouch, projectwerk’, Leuven, 2003 (unpublished).