Having a chair by your side that fits you ergonomically is essential to have a safe and productive workstation. The importance of having a proper ergonomic chair beggars description.
Are you worried that your boss might not be willing to provide you with a high-quality ergonomic chair? Well, it doesn’t hurt to ask, right?
To request an ergonomic chair at work, an employee would need proper medical documents (Letter of Medical Necessity) to convince the employer to provide an ergonomic chair.
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), an ergonomic chair is a chair that supports your legs, back, arms, buttocks while protecting you from forceful exertions and uncomfortable postures.
In this article, I’m going to go through the steps to request your employer to get you an ergonomic chair at work. I will also tell you how to collect a letter of medical necessity to validate your request.
So, without any further ado, let’s begin!
Does My Employer Have to Provide an Ergonomic Chair?
The answer to that question is a bit complicated. Your employer is required to provide you with the necessary equipment for your work. Furthermore, they are legally obligated to make your workplace safe by following the best practices.
So, if an employee can prove that he/she requires an ergonomic chair for a medical condition but, it should be noted that this is not a luxury that can be doled out to all the employees as a benefit of their employment.
If an employer receives a request from one of their employees about an ergonomic chair, then the employer can ask the employee to show proper medical documents to back up that claim.
Some might bring up the OSHA regulations that stand for Occupational Safety and Health Act. But, remember that OSHA regulations only mandate an employer to make the workplace free of any serious hazardous conditions.
There are many industries and occupations where the workers are exposed to ergonomic hazards, and they risk the possibility of long-term back problems and musculoskeletal disorders.
In order to minimize that risk, OSHA has developed industry-specific guidelines. That part is voluntary and whether your company will provide you with an ergonomic chair mostly depends on their internal policies.
Step by Step Process to Request an Ergonomic Chair
Now it’s time for us to get down to business and talk about how you can make a request for an ergonomic chair while maximizing the possibility of getting it. Let’s dive right in:
1. Start the Conversation
You have to consider this request as a sales pitch as in you’re selling the idea of getting you an ergonomic office chair. And that’s why it’s important to plan out your pitch.
You should remember your boss is not likely to be inclined to get you that ergonomic chair. Keep in mind that it’s your employer’s job to make the company as much benefit as possible while managing expensive and increasing productivity.
And you should target the part that is part of productivity. The best way to start is by talking about the benefits of ergonomic chairs and how having more ergonomic chairs will benefit the staff and enhance the company’s productivity as a whole.
2. Explain the Benefits of Using Ergonomic Chairs
Nobody wouldLetter,using,; you’ll be convinced to do a certain task if he/she didn’t see the benefit in that clearly. And that’s why in this step, you should showcase all the benefits an ergonomic chair might have in the office space.
The biggest benefit of using an ergonomic chair is that it saves a lot of costs directly as well as indirectly. Some of the most commonly suffered issues and diseases associated with long-term sedentary behavior are back pain, neck and shoulder strains, carpal tunnel syndrome, and even tendinitis.
And all of those scary health issues can be mostly avoided by using an ergonomic chair. You have to remind your boss of all the medical expenses, legal fees, and compensations they have to spend if one of their employees gets affected by any of these diseases due to their work environment.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of using an ergonomic chair that you can use to convince your employer:
- Enhanced Productivity: We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again. Several studies that have been conducted on this topic have concluded that ergonomically designed office chairs have a great impact on the employee’s work life.
- Reduced Pain: Office workers are notorious for suffering from back and neck pains. The main cause of it is the traditionally designed chairs that are not ideal for long hours. That’s where ergonomic chairs are super effective.
- Maintains Posture: When you’re working, you’re most likely to move forward or lean backward or move around from time to time. Ergonomic chairs make sure your posture remains correct throughout the whole time.
- Long Term Usability: Nobody likes repeated purchases of the same product. And that’s why everyone should consider buying an ergonomic chair as they are well-built and long-lasting.
- Fewer Employee Compensation Claims: If your employees have a better sitting environment, then they are less likely to claim their worker compensation benefits due to work-related injuries.
3. Justify the Expense
It’s highly likely that your boss won’t see the benefits of using an ergonomic chair as you do and just shake it off as an unnecessary cost. This is the part where you have to convince him/her that it’s not an expense but a worthwhile investment.
You can tell your employer about all the breaks your fellow office workers take as they get sore backs and shoulders due to long hours of sitting. You should point out how devastating that is to the company’s overall productivity.
You should justify the cost by showcasing the effectiveness and enhanced productivity ergonomic chairs will bring to the workforce.
4. Collect The Letter of Medical Necessity
A letter of medical necessity is a medical document or certification which is provided by a doctor, chiropractor or other licensed health care provider that there is a medical necessity.
If you are willing to request an ergonomic chair at work, then you must collect the letter of medical necessity.
Here is a step by step process to collect the letter of Medical Necessity:
- Get an Appointment with a Chiropractor
- Talk with him about your issues like back pain from sitting all day at work
- Ask your doctor to give you a letter of medical necessity.
Your doctor can prescribe a particular model of ergonomic chair. Also, If you have a specific model of ergonomic chair you can ask him to prescribe that as well.
As you can see, getting a Letter of Medical Necessity is a simple task; you can just ask your doctor or chiropractor to provide one.
Just you need to tell them that you have back problems or other physical issues from sitting at your desk; they will almost certainly write you one.
If your doctor or chiropractor already prescribed you a particular ergonomic chair to mitigate back pain issues, you don’t even have to ask for LMN.
5. Show the Proper Documents to Back Up Your Request
As you have already collected the letter of medical necessity including a prescription for an ergonomic chair from a certified health care provider, all you have to do is submit the document to your provider with a formal application.
Attach the document with a formal application to your employer. If your physician has prescribed using an ergonomic chair, then your employer is likely to consider your request depending on the company’s internal policies.
So, make sure you have the proper documents while making the request.
Can You Get a Prescription for an Ergonomic Chair?
Yes, you can get a prescription for an ergonomic chair that’s angle adjustable provided that you’re suffering from a specific condition that can be improved by the use of an ergonomic chair.
You should talk to your physician about this issue if you feel you need a prescription for it.
Who Is Responsible for Ergonomics in the Workplace?
The honest answer is, no one! The OSHA regulates that employers make the work environment ergonomic, but it does not mandate it. But, employers have to make their workplace safe from health hazards and injuries.
Despite that, providing ergonomic equipment to the workers is a voluntary choice for employers for the most part.
How Do You Ask for a New Chair at Work?
First, you have to arrange a meeting with your manager or the person who’s responsible for providing the employees with the necessary equipment.
Next, you have to make your case as to why you need a new chair and how that would benefit you as well as the company. If you can show proper medical documents to get an ergonomic office chair at work, you are more likely to get one.
There is no doubt that an ergonomic office chair can make a huge difference in your day-to-day work life.
Ergonomic chairs are made to match your body shape and type. They also have excellent features that prevent you from feeling pain or fatigue even after long hours.
But, a high-quality ergonomic chair is anything but cheap. And that’s why you need to make a compelling case in front of your boss to convince him/her to buy you one.
Rest assured if you follow our guide given above, you’ll be able to increase your chance of getting one exponentially. I hope that helped. Till next time, adios!