Why is Workplace Ergonomics so Important?


An organization’s physical infrastructure greatly reflects its attitude toward its employees. Bright and clean work units, comfortable furniture, spacious cabins, health-friendly computers & accessories, impress upon employees the aesthetic and sensitive outlook of the organization. Ineffective office ergonomics can have an adverse effect on employee output. Proper ergonomic planning is certain to market a safer, healthier and work-conducive environment for workers and a productive ambiance for the organization.

Elements to think about for Effective Office Ergonomics Building Design & Maintenance Did you recognize that an improper office block design can cause Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) in its occupants? Sick Building Syndrome, also mentioned as Building Sickness, impacts employee health by causing headaches, tiredness, nausea, dizziness, throat problems, respiratory discomfort, ocular & nasal distress, and dryness and itchiness of skin. inferiority air within the office buildings, thanks to factors like inadequate ventilation, ineffective air con and thermal retention, is believed to be the chief explanation for SBS.

Building ventilation should be so designed to stop entrance of chemical contaminants and biological pollutants from the external environment. it’s been found that sources of such contaminants are mostly within the office buildings. Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs, found in carpets, paints, wooden furniture, fax machines, etc. have an acute impact on human health. Stagnation of water on ceiling tiles and insulation breeds biological contaminants. Planned design and regular maintenance of office buildings can create a health-conducive environment for workers . Lighting & Acoustics Sufficient natural light should be allowed within the office building; it promotes a sense of freshness and a lively atmosphere. Bright overhead lights and consequent eye distress and headaches are common to employees in most workplaces. Impact of such harsh artificial lighting are often reduced by using filters, lower indirect lighting fixtures and task lighting. a mixture of lighting fixture and task lighting is employed in workplace environments for optimal illumination; while lighting fixture allows adequate light for orientation, task lights, which are positioned closer to the worker working area, allow the worker sufficient light to perform his/her task. Shades, screens and filters are often fitted to computer monitors to scale back the effect of glare on eyes.

Noise can have a psychological effect on employees; instances where substantial sound pollution resulted in poor delivery by employees at interviews aren’t unprecedented . Proper acoustic fittings capable of absorbing noise are often an answer to such sound pollution . Work-Area a piece area should be so designed that it allows effective accommodation of labor equipment and employee effects , and free body movement. Document holders and head phones/speaker phones are often effective for workers whose job responsibilities require continuous document reference and phone usage. They reduce strain to eyes, back, shoulders and neck. Foot rests and glare-minimizing work surfaces minimize strain to feet and eyes.

Good ergonomic furniture and work equipment reduce common health risks faced at work. The health risks, medically categorized as Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs), MusculoSkeletal Disorders (MSDs) and Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTDs), are basically injuries affecting muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints and nerves. Chairs Prolonged sitting leads to muscular fatigue and features a significant effect on feet, legs, and back. Compounded with poorly-designed chairs, this exposes employees to an increased health risk. Ergonomic chairs include people who have adjustable armrests, backrests with lumbar support, and permit for seat height & depth adjustability. Employees should be trained on correct postures and effective exercises to stay fit at workplace. Computers, Keyboards & Other Input Devices Incompatible alignment of computers and accessories can injure eye, neck, shoulders, wrists, elbows and forearms. Monitors should be properly positioned from the user to permit comfortable viewing without much strain to the neck. Anti-glare monitors or customized eye glasses are effective in minimizing eye distress. Document holders, if used, should be aligned at a height adequate to that of the monitor to avoid eye, neck and shoulder pain.

Ergonomic keyboards designed to attenuate muscle discomfort and injuries are available. Fixed-split keyboards, adjustable-split keyboards are some popular ergonomic keyboards. Standard keyboard compatibility are often improved by the usage of keyboard trays, which enable achieve appropriate height and distance.

Mouse, trackball and other input devices are to be chosen keeping in mind factors like size, shape, operational ease, and therefore the way they fit into the contours of the hand. Certain trackball designs make usage difficult and therefore the user finishes up injuring the thumb, and muscles or tendons of the hand. Currently many branded mouse , trackballs, and other input devices like touch pads, touch screens, etc., designed to ergonomic specifications are available within the market.

Laptops If work equipment involves laptops, then laptop stands, drawers or laptop desks should be wont to avoid associated health risks. Several users work with laptops on their laps; this not only causes headaches and pain within the back, neck and shoulders thanks to a nasty keyboard posture, but also exposes the user to the acute heat emitted by the laptops, which can harm the body internally. Usage of laptop stands or other options allows for adjustment to ergonomic height and appropriate distance from the user.

Laptop design integrates monitor and keyboard, which prevents the user from achieving a perfect monitor position and keyboard position simultaneously. In other words, if the user adjusts the monitor to an optimal position, he doesn’t have keyboard right or vice-versa. This results in an incorrect posture, which causes musculoskeletal disorders. External keyboard and mouse are often used while performing on laptops. Users should even be trained on correct postures and dealing methods that require to be followed while working with these units. Smaller, light-weight models are often chosen counting on job requirement.

Ergonomic awareness, regular workplace evaluations and employee ergonomic training programs are essential to make and maintain a healthy productive work environment.

Writing is my favorite sort of expression. A love for writing, writing and writing is what drew me to freelance writing. Writing also introduces me to new territories of data , which i really like exploring.

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