Every day, you spend at least eight hours a day finishing task after task, which can strain your mind and body. As your body is your primary instrument for work, a good workstation must provide the best support for your health and safety. Hence, working in an office or your own home requires following the principles of workplace ergonomics
What Is Workplace Ergonomics and Why Is It Important
Workplace ergonomics is a study focused on ensuring people are safe and healthy in their work environments. Workplace ergonomics must be observed whether you’re in the office, at home, or remotely anywhere. An ergonomic workspace allows your body to easily access your tools for work and move without feeling constrained in your office corner.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) highlights the musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that could develop when workplace ergonomics are not followed appropriately. These include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, shoulder injuries, and other muscle strains. These ailments may eventually hamper someone’s ability to perform and last long in their profession, not to mention their impact on one’s daily life.
These health effects are the main reasons managers and supervisors work closely with occupational safety and health (OSH) officers to ensure that workstations are ergonomically set up.
Achieving An Ergonomic Workstation
However, with the rise of remote and hybrid work, how can you ensure that your workstation protects you from harm? What considerations will you need to set up an ergonomic workstation wherever you work? Here are some of the practices you can do.
Follow Ergonomic Workstation Guides
The International Labor Organization (ILO) reported ways in which occupational safety and health can be handled in the office and by workers. You can achieve it by following existing ergonomic workstation guides available through ILO. To achieve an ergonomic workstation, you can follow the usual guidelines, such as ensuring your chair is at a comfortable angle and height to your table. In addition, your body must fit your chair and the workstation.
Take care of your eyesight by ensuring that your screen does not produce glare. You can wear protective eyeglasses or attach a screen protector to your desktop or laptop. Access to important items that you need, such as pens, notebooks, and memory drives, should be easy. Your workstation should also include items that can protect you, like face masks and sanitizing liquids.
Communicate Any Discomfort with Your Workstation
Your productivity is typically tied to your workstation. If you get injured, your ability to complete tasks and provide needed support will be compromised. Your workspace should prevent you from experiencing any injury, such as tripping or bumping your head.
It would be best if you communicated to your operations or OSH officer any discomfort you might be experiencing in your workstation. Then, with your help, the operations manager or OSH officer can adjust your workstation according to your needs.
Assist Your Co-workers in Their Workstation Woes
Your colleagues may need your help ensuring their workstations are on par with ergonomic standards. You can further improve your team’s overall productivity by assisting your co-workers in their workstation setup. Especially if you’re working closely in the office, you can suggest ways in which they can improve their workstations.
Your co-worker might be struggling with their workstation because of the crowded stuff on their desks. You can remind them to bring a few necessary items only and leave home those that may hinder movement in their stations. Assisting your co-workers in improving their workstations, even offline, can help the team and help strengthen your bond with them.
Participate in Efforts to Improve Workplace Ergonomics
If you’re an engineer working in a factory dealing with toxic liquids or gas, practice measures that can protect you from severe injuries and fatalities that poisonous substances can cause you and your co-workers. If you’re a technician working on wiring and heavy machinery, you may create reports as soon as you discover any faulty wiring or machinery.
Organizations usually have different training courses related to workplace ergonomics. If your firm doesn’t have these, you can propose such programs to your OSH officer. Receiving such training is your right as an employee and is in the best interest of all parties involved.
Benefits of a Well-Designed Ergonomic Work Environment
You Can Increase Productivity by Focusing on the Tasks at Hand
An ergonomic workplace increases productivity by 25 percent, as it allows you to focus on your tasks. You can take less time finding what you need from a pile of items and be more efficient since you can move quickly in your workstation. When your space is safe and secure, you will feel relief and more motivated to work.
You Can Save on Healthcare Costs by Preventing an Injury A study found that interventions in ensuring ergonomics in the workstation positively impact health . Back pains, shoulder pain, and eye strain can be caused by a poor work environment. You’re more susceptible to injury if you’re working full-time with little regard for office safety. Additionally, with the rising cost of medical treatments, seemingly little things like an ergonomic workstation can save you hundreds of dollars.
You Can Better Protect Yourself and Others
Knowing more about workplace ergonomics equips you to protect yourself and others better. It goes beyond managing physical tools, such as computer chairs and tables, but also data on employee experiences. Learning more about ergonomics is especially important now that the pandemic has changed our concept of “workspaces.” Hence, you must be able to better equip yourself with information that could help you, your co-workers, and even loved ones stay safe and in good health.
Workplace Ergonomics Benefits All
An ergonomic workplace is a basic necessity. Workplace ergonomics benefits all parties in any work arrangement. It saves you the inconvenience of piling workloads due to injuries or ailments. Being able to focus on your tasks and achieving the required KPIs of your job will be to the benefit of your organization. An ergonomic workstation is your right as an employee and your responsibility to yourself. For any concerns you have with your workstation, it is best to coordinate with your OSH officer.
LET ACS PROFESSIONAL STAFFING HELP YOU FIND ORGANIZATIONS THAT VALUE WORKPLACE ERGONOMICS.
Occupational health and safety safeguard you and the people around you. We at ACS Professional Staffing know how important your workstation is to empower you to do more. We can connect you to employers who share the same goals for your health and safety.
Together, we can explore the opportunities available for you in engineering, technical, finance, human resources, capital project, marketing, administrative support roles, and more. Our expert human resource staff will ensure that you find an organization that honors workplace ergonomics in your profession.
Contact us today.