Workplace Safety Ergonomics
An Overview of Workplace Safety Ergonomics
Workplace safety is a major issue for many companies and every business that has workers is affected. When the employees are safe then there are fewer risks of illness or injuries. This means higher productivity for the business.
Many employers have tried to establish a safe environment at the workplace by setting up guidelines and policies that protect both the employers and employees. Ergonomics workplace health safety is dependent on both the employee and the employers. In this article, I will address certain guidelines which small and medium businesses can apply to establish a safe working environment.
It is the primary responsibility of the management to establish proper regulations concerning safety in the workplace. Complying with government regulations is a good place to start.
You can find the Workplace Safety Ergonomics guidelines published by OSHA, NIOSH and other private label organizations.
Government Workplace Safety Ergonomics Guidelines Are Not Enough
Government regulations only provide general guidelines for the safety of workers in a given industry.
That means, they (the government) only consider the potential occupational hazards that workers in a specific industry face in the course of carrying out their duties, but not as a way to improve productivity. I sometimes think there's too much focus on prevention but not improvement. (But I'm sure we'll get there though.)
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For instance, workers involved in the transportation and ferrying of goods to different locations are at risk of suffering from musculoskeletal disorders. On the other hand, people who work in an industry that emits toxic gases and waste may be susceptible to respiratory and skin ailments among other allergies. Different working conditions portend different potential risks for the workers. We have to note that workplace safety ergonomics will differ from place to place depending on the prevailing conditions.
That simply means, application of these workplace safety ergonomics guidelines differ and we need external help.
Hiring An Ergonomics Consultant
Management cannot make and implement all the safety policies on its own. There is need to engage the staff as well in the process. They also need to educate their staff and even purchase a few things to make their employees' work stations more ergonomic.
The management may also seek the services of ergonomic auditors and external inspectors for advice on appropriate safety measures for the organization. Such experts will need to visit the company and assess the working environment with a view to identifying specific risks and hazards facing the workers. They are then able to recommend potential solutions to improve safety in the working area. It is also important to have periodic evaluation by such external agencies to determine if proper measures are in place to guarantee workplace safety in the organization.
Sometimes that also involves hiring an ergonomic consultant to do ergonomic training for all staff. Other times, you can also provide ergonomic health and workplace safety seminars or ergonomic courses. Many corporations also hire an in-house ergonomics supervisor to walk around the compound and oversee the employee's workplace safety.
A good way is to allow a two-way communication via feedback.
You can do so by requesting for ideas from them and listening to employees' complaints and suggestions. The management may create a forum where employees freely express themselves without fear of victimization. Creating such forums shows commitment to workers safety and goes a long way in boosting the morale of employees.
After obtaining their views, management should develop procedures and guidelines geared to improving workplace safety. The management should conduct training programs to familiarize the workers on the new safety measures in place.
Thank you for reading 'Workplace Safety Ergonomics'!
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