Why Ergonomics is Important in the Workplace?
What is ergonomics in the workplace?
Ergonomics in the workplace is about modifying the work environment to keep it as safe and healthy as possible for an individual. This includes changing how tasks are done, choosing materials, designing equipment, and more. It is a balance of many factors and decisions that must be made with both worker safety in mind but also productivity.
Ergonomics is the study of people and their interactions with their environment. Ergonomics considers the design of products, tools, workplaces, and other human activities to maximize the well-being and efficiency of the human system.
Ergonomics explores the relationship between the physiological limitations and needs of the human body, with technology, to improve their functionality. In short: if we use it right, it can make us feel better and do better work.
Ergonomics as a subject is concerned with how humans use resources at work and in leisure. Workplace ergonomics is concerned with the design of work systems, or the way the human body adapts to workplace environments.
Ergonomic research in this instance is applied research and focuses on developing tools to reduce the amount of physical effort used at work, reduce levels of stress and strain by designing job tasks and working postures that are suitable for the human body, as well as making workplaces more compatible with individual needs.
Ergonomists use tools and techniques to evaluate human performance using physiological processes. Ergonomics has traditionally been concerned with reducing equipment strain, but the intent underlying that objective has expanded to include the general improvement of human well-being on the job.
Ergonomics now also examines additional factors, such as personal relationships, work tasks, available resources, and team dynamics. In this way ergonomics can be seen as an interdisciplinary field that is concerned with improving all aspects of the workplace environment.
Ergonomics is concerned with the interaction of humans and their environment. Human factors refers to the development of human-centered systems for design, engineering, and systems analysis.
Its goal is to improve the adaptation of man or woman to his/her environment and permit him/her a higher degree of performance than was possible previously.
Why Ergonomics is Important in the Workplace?
The importance of ergonomics in the workplace can’t be measured by one thing alone. The importance is in the product and trade-off between money, profit, and cost at any given time. Another factor that has a large influence is how much work needs to be done when it needs to be done, and who will do it. In most cases, it is the worker that is affected by their work environment. This can affect them physically (that can lead to injury) or mentally (tiredness, stress).
Disadvantages of Ergonomics
The danger of being disadvantaged is mostly on the worker because of the way they are doing something. This can be through them working too fast, doing a repetitive task, or even working too long without rest. The employer can lose both in money and reputation if they are not taking care of their employees.
In addition to this, poorly designed workstations are a safety hazard – creating an unsafe work environment such as a slippery floor or broken chair can lead to injury.
Tools and equipment can also affect ergonomics in the workplace. When trying to complete a task as fast as possible, people will look for the easiest way they can do it.
For example, if there were a computer and keyboard on a raised desk, people would be inclined to use it. However, this is not ergonomic because the user needs to bend their neck up and down continuously just to see the screen. This can create strain on their spine and risk injury.
If the employer allows this type of workstation then they risk losing money and time. There are health and safety standards that are required to be met to ensure that all equipment is safe to use. If it isn’t, there will be a fine, both for the company and the employee (if they didn’t report it).
#What does Ergonomic look like?
Designing ergonomic workstations requires a lot of careful planning. It is important to keep workstations as small as possible, while still leaving much space and enough room for the worker to use their hands. If not, workers may be tempted to stand near the desk and take up too much space. This can create a danger of injury through tripping.
The height of the workstation needs to be at a level that is easily reachable by workers of different heights without stooping or bending down. There is a standard height that the platform of the workstation should be – this is 43 cm. The distance between the workstation and computer screen needs to be planned as well to make sure it is easy for workers to see.
The proximity of computer screens to one another should be calculated carefully as well; this is because nobody likes their view blocked by someone else’s screen. It should also be relatively close because workers will not want to walk across a room after they have been sitting for a while.
Ergonomics in the workplace is designed to make sure that workers are safe and comfortable while at work. Space needs to be planned carefully to make sure that there is enough room for workers as well as equipment. This will not only affect the worker but also the employer in their money and profit.
What are the do and don’ts at workstations?
– Keep your workstation clutter-free, your desk should be looked at as the home for your work projects not random junk.
– Organize and label so that you can find things easily when needed.
– Use space inefficiently.
– Work in piles of paper or clutter, take time to organize and clean up often.
– Operate dangerous equipment in an area that you can’t quickly get out of if there is an emergency.
– Overthink the job. If you are doing it right, you can do it without getting hurt.