Workplace Ergonomics: How to Boost Workplace Health and Safety

Developing and observing a culture of safety ensures that your business is run by safe, happy, and productive employees. Here are some ways you can enforce good ergonomics in your workplace.

Workplace Ergonomics: How to Boost Workplace Health and Safety

Responsible employers don’t scrimp when it comes to contributing to the welfare of their staff. They acknowledge the fact that having optimal health and wellbeing are essential for employees to be more productive in the office.

Employers are also bound to comply with workplace health and safety standards. It goes without saying that employers must be quick to spot ergonomics issues in the office that may put your workers at risk of injury or disorders.

Workplace ergonomics defined

Ergonomics is the scientific study of people and the factors affecting their work environment. Putting a spotlight on ergonomics aims to promote a safe and comfortable working environment that enables workers to be more productive and efficient.

All companies are mandated to ensure their staff and people who may be directly affected by their business operations are safe at all times. The Canadain Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) lays out the legislative requirements that enforce and look after workplace safety.

Developing and observing a culture of safety ensures that your business is aligned with national and local guidelines for workplace ergonomics. It’s an effective way to protect your company’s greatest asset: your employees.

To minimize the risk of accidents in your workplace, below are some ways you can observe good ergonomics.

5 Tips to Improve Workplace Ergonomics

[CAPTION:] Eliminate hazards specific to every employee’s role

(Credit: Amy Hirschi | Unsplash)

1. Double down on your assessments.

Meticulous assessment of your entire workplace doesn’t only evaluate all the factors unique to your surroundings, but also the hazards surrounding every employee’s role. You may have staff members who are standing throughout the workday or those whose jobs involve lifting heavy objects. When identifying accident risks involved in their roles, involve your employees in the process. Ask them about the possible issues that may hamper their health and productivity.

Employees who are working at heights or confined spaces must receive proper education and safety training in Toronto. A confined space entry training aims to teach your staff to recognize potential hazards in a confined space, identify control procedures in managing such hazards, and how to use emergency equipment intended for confined space areas. All of these are essential in building the capacity of your employees to protect themselves and that of others in dangerous situations.

2. Choose proper safety equipment.

Following the assessment, provide your workers with appropriate safety equipment. Any equipment that allows them to practice safe posture, aid them in lifting heavy objects, or protect them from injuries is ideal.

Examples of such equipment are:

  • Ergonomically designed chairs
  • Cushioned floor mats for employees who stand for extended periods
  • Knee pads that ease the pressure when kneeling
  • Carts that make moving heavy items convenient

3. Consider varying heights

Four employees performing similar jobs may be situated at different heights, meaning it’s possible that all of them are uncomfortable seated at their fixed workstations. Due to height differences, these workers may be reaching or stopping repeatedly during the day which can result in the development of a musculoskeletal disorder.

4. Allow a variety of positions

Too much sitting or standing can result in injury. Consider having workstations that have adjustable heights to give employees the option to sit and stand alternately throughout the day. Ergonomic chairs, tools that allow workers to lean, and other apparatus that support standing or sitting are also viable options to prevent employees from spending too much time in one position.

5. Educate and communicate

Employers should take the lead when raising awareness on best practices in reducing the risk of work-related injuries. Remind your staff to take breaks, adjust repetitive movements, and use protective equipment. Make sure to regularly communicate these reminders through discussions with managers, informational print materials (e.g. posters, brochures), and other channels for internal communication. Other than that, proper building maintenance in Toronto is also crucial. It ensures that the workplace and environment of your employees remain healthy, clean, and safe.

Maximizing the use of ergonomic equipment and introducing best practices in the workplace will only produce desired results if employees utilize them right. Consistent communication of these efforts is key to achieving this.

Updated Date: 15 July 2020, 12:17

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