A safer workplace is not just about using safety equipment, it’s also about creating a comfortable and ergonomic work environment for your staff. The importance of ergonomics in the workplace relates to making adaptations to the furniture and equipment to ensure correct employee posture and alignment. For example, if you have a taller employee, they will need their chair adjusted in a different way than for someone who is short. They will also need more leg room. It will require professional evaluation to ensure that all your employees are using their bodies correctly and to prevent injury or illnesses.
Ergonomics is the least of the key topics when it comes to workplace safety. But an increasing number of employers and workers, and even governments are becoming conscious of the long-term (and short-term impact) of poor ergonomics.
It is recommended to have an evaluation conducted every time a new employee joins your organization. Remember, it’s easier and more economical to prevent injuries and/or illnesses due to repetitive tasks than to treat the injury or illness.
Sitting and working in the same place for long hours, whether in the office or while driving a vehicle, can cause stress. Even commercial drivers have to maintain their HOS and driver logs to ensure that they are not overworking. Similarly, those working in the office should be provided with custom designed furniture and equipment to help reduce stress, while also requiring them to leave their seats periodically.
Avoiding Workplace Injuries
While employers are responsible for ensuring the safety of their workers, employees also have an important role to play in preventing workplace injuries. If you don’t work with correct posture, you will be putting stress on your muscles and spine.
Some of the valuable tips that can help you include:
– Organize your work environment in a way that the most frequently used tools are within easy reach.
– If you must lift something, use your leg muscles and not your back.
– Make sure to take breaks every 20-30 minutes.
– Make sure to exercise regularly to keep your muscles strong.
– Get your workplace examined for ergonomics if you suffer from any kind of muscular pain, especially those associated with the neck or back.
While ergonomics is one aspect of ensuring the health and safety of your employees, fire prevention is another point with direct and immediate impact. It is something that is as impetrate in an office as in an industrial setting. Many times offices are located in high-rise buildings or close to manufacturing operations. While fire prevention can be a challenge, evacuation is another major concern in such situations.
Use the following steps to minimize the risk of fire in the workplace:
– Control Storage of Combustible Materials – There are many materials in regular use in the office, which can be combustible and you may never know about it. A few examples include the cleaners, copier inks and even all the paper used in the office. There could be several other materials. Checking the MSDS could help you learn about other combustible materials.
– Use Electrical Outlets Carefully – Make sure that electrical outlets aren’t overloaded. They are designed to operate equipment up to a certain load capacity. If your workers overload them, there is a very high risk of fire.
There are many other hazards that could have a direct or indirect impact on your worker’s occupational health and safety. These factors can vary from one industry to another. But ergonomics and fire hazard are two common factors which affect almost all types of workplaces. Make sure to develop a plan to address each hazard. This may also involve seeking professional help.