Aspen Equipment Co. recently received first place for its integrated wellbeing and safety program in the Trusight Inc. Human Resources Excellence Awards. Trusight, an employerâ€™s association representing 1,150-member companies across Minnesota, awarded Aspen Equipment the highest honor of first place.
Aspen Equipment partnered with occupational medicine provider, Twin Cities Occupational Health and Rehabilitation, to implement an ergonomics program designed to prevent injuries and reduce the impact of physical labor on its workforce. Functional job descriptions were developed to clarify the physical demands of specific positions to ensure new employees are physically fit to perform the work required on the job â€” and to accommodate any restrictions needed when a worker is hired with known limitations.
â€śOur goal is that the well-being program will benefit employees not only at work, but in the quality of life they enjoy outside of work too,â€ť said Aspen Equipment president Steve Sill.
â€śKnowing that many jobs require workers to maintain awkward static postures, perform repetitive tasks involving shoulders, arms and wrists, and the frequent use of vibration and impact tools, our first idea was to implement a stretching program,â€ť explained Sharon Hengel, human resources manager at Aspen Equipment. â€śIt quickly grew into much more, improving employeesâ€™ lives and even those of their families. Going forward, we plan to expand these same principles into office areas, knowing that desk jobs also have impact on quality of life from being sedentary much of the day.â€ť
Driven by employees, the program seeks to address four key areas: 1) prevent work-related injuries; 2) decrease employee aches and pains while on and off the job; 3) improve operations within the workplace from an ergonomic standpoint and; 4) establish cultural changes related to management vs. employee buy-in, to a culture of wellness participation.
Headquartered in Bloomington, Minn., Aspen Equipment Co. is a family-owned and operated rental business that sells, rents and services commercial equipment, including crane/boom trucks, light trucks, air compressors and rock drills, railroad equipment, and snow and ice removal products for federal, state and local governments, railroads, utilities and construction trades.