Workplace injury can have a serious affect on not just an employee, but their employer as well. In the workplace, there is a constant need to provide a safe working environment. Without it, workers compensation rates continue to flourish and employers face a host of fines and violations that could put them out of work completely. Ensuring that the workplace is a safe environment involves ergonomics that extend beyond just the design and build of the furniture and workstations, but also include proper training of how to use equipment.
The environment of the workplace has evolved over the years to include diverse job functions. More people are working in front of a desk and on a computer, new technologies that may require prolonged periods of attention and repetitive motion, all take a toll on the possibility of injury while on the job. For employers this means ensuring protection by promoting safety in the workplace and making sure proper precautions and information is provided to all employees.
Quality and intelligent design in furniture and setup is important to helping prevent injury however, it alone is not sufficient. There must also be support and training around how this equipment should be used as well as techniques and tips for guaranteeing safety.
Furniture that is designed ergonomically and to offer adjustable and more user friendly interaction is not fail proof if it is not used properly. Showing users more appropriate ways to work and to utilize the advantages of the ergonomically designed furniture can minimize the stress and strain of working conditions. In order to maximize the chances that workers will not suffer pain and discomfort, it is necessary to help make them aware of how to properly use furniture and what kinds of things can be done throughout the day to reduce the risk of harm.
Taking breaks, proper posture and stretching are not only preventative measures that make employees better aware of how to use furniture, but they have also proven to enhance productivity levels.
Adjustability is the most important feature of ergonomic equipment. Adjustable workstations give users the ability to easily adjust their furniture throughout the day depending on comfort and the activity they are involved in. When it comes to workstation comfort and safety, it is specific for each individual. One such factor is height. A taller person will need a station that offers more legroom, if someone's job requires a large workspace that must also be taken into consideration when setting up the station or offering furniture that will adjust to fit the needs of individual users.
Prolonged periods of activity and other injuries causing stress especially in the areas of the neck and lower back are common and overtime can lead to Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs). These common occupational illnesses include low back pain, joint injuries and repetitive strain injuries.
Workplace health and safety is a major factor for any workplace. The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) encourages workplace safety and health for America's workers. To reduce the risk of injury for computer workstations, OSHA recommends a list of practices to keep in mind. For example, feet should be fully supported by the floor or footrest; the head and neck should be balanced and in line with the torso; proper posture positioning should be in place and breaking up repetition throughout the day, are all important factors. For more on these tips from OSHA click here.
Furniture companies that specialize call centers, such as Interior Concepts, can offer ergonomic accessory recommendations to help make the workstation more comfortable for each agent whenever a furniture purchase is made.
For more information, please visit www.interiorconcepts.com
Stefania Viscusi is an established writer and avid reader. To see more of her articles, please visit Stefania Viscusi’s columnist page.