Healthy Work Environments
The goal of a workplace safety program is not simply to prevent accidents. Good workplace safety initiatives try to keep workers as healthy as possible. For quick wins in this area, simple ergonomic improvements to the physical work environment are a great place to start.
Keeping healthy at work is a function of many things, both physical and mental.
Don't underestimate the role that the physical aspects of an office workplace play in staying healthy.
Think about it. If you take a moment to consider all the elements of your work environment that can affect your health, it's a long list.
Among other things, the list would include the design and layout of the workstation, the lighting and illumination of the work area, office air quality, computer type and placement, and workplace noise levels.
Why a Healthy Work Environment Is Important
All of these physical aspects of a workplace interact with an employee's stress level, work load, mental attitude, and general state of personal health.
Those are a lot of things to get in sync in order to achieve a positive, healthy work environment.
Given the importance of productivity, investing in a healthy workplace is an investment you can't afford not to make.
Focus on Ergonomics
A big part of working healthy and smart involves ergonomics.
While many people perceive ergonomics to be a complex issue that will involve a lot of work to implement, that just isn't the case.
Ergonomics simply means adapting work or working conditions to the needs of the worker.
In order to be ergonomically correct, experts say certain factors should always be top-of-mind when designing employee workspaces and selecting furniture and equipment.
Following just a few basic procedures upfront can eliminate problems from repetitive stress, undue strain, and other matters down the road.
Remember, it's all about finding the best solutions for a given worker's job conditions. So keep these major points top of mind while planning improvements for your office environment:
- Worker fatigue is connected to the type of work being done and the amount of time an employee is standing or sitting at a desk or in front of a computer.
- Each employee is different in age, hand preference, vision requirements and measurements.
- Proper use of space in workstation configurations and locations contributes to reduced stress and strain on the body.
- Computer equipment and peripherals vary in size, shape and design. This can affect placement within the workspace, interaction with light and glare, and employee use.
The bottomline? If a workstation is well-designed, an employee should be able to maintain a correct and comfortable body posture at all times.
This will assure that work can be performed comfortably, smoothly, efficiently, and free from stress. That's good for workers and it's good for the business.
The key takeaway is that you can't afford to neglect ergonomics. Organizing your workspace to best suit individual needs is a key success factor for creating a healthy and productive workplace.
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