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Conduct an ergonomic assessment to ensure you comply with the OHSA!

by , 26 February 2013
It's increasingly common for employees to find themselves sharing a desk or working in poor lighting as companies simply can't afford to pay for more office space. While this means the job still gets done, it opens you up to increasing claims of adverse working conditions that affect your employees' health - which would result in fines from the Department of Labour. Here's how to make sure employees' health doesn't suffer in the workplace by conducting an ergonomic assessment.

Postmen in the UK are now delivering more parcels than letters, which are heavier and bulkier and not as easy to carry on a bicycle.
 
That's why these postmen will soon have their bicycles replaced by vans, the Harborough Mail reports.
 
The move is intended toliterally take the weight off the postmen's shoulders.
 
This is a great way to ensure their occupational health and safety.
 
And you're legally obliged to adopt ergonomics as a similar way to ensure your employees' health in South Africa. 
 
Ergonomics is about fitting job functions to the physical capabilities of your employees, explains the Health and Safety Bulletin.This is especially important to protect against hazards to employees' health resulting from the way your employees work.
 
To check if they're at risk, the Labour Bulletin suggests you do an ergonomic assessment.
 
Here's how to do an ergonomic assessment
 
This is where you look at the set-up of your workspace to see if it allows people to do their jobs safely, comfortably and productively.
 
You'll need to cover aspects such as lighting, acoustics or noise levels and proper air circulation to be sure that your workspace doesn't put your employees' health at risk.
 
If your employees sit at seated work stations, Ergotron says to check five important factors.
 
Include these five factors in your ergonomic assessment if employees sit at seated work stations
 
1. Is the top of the employee's computer monitor at eye level?
2. Is the computer monitor at least 50cm from the employee's eyes?
3. Do the employee's wrists remain flat while typing?
4. Are the employee's shoulders relaxed when typing, with his upper arms parallel to his torso?
5. Can the employee adjust the height of his monitor, keyboard and chair?
 
Saying 'no' to any of these would suggest your office space is not ergonomic and likely to result in your employee complaining of adverse health effects like eye strain, stress or a stiff neck.
 
Conduct an ergonomic assessment today to make sure you comply with the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act.
 
 

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