Workplace Safety Issues – Topmost Things That Squelch Employee Satisfaction
According to me, workplace safety issues are the
topmost things that squelch or put down to silence employee satisfaction in a
workplace. As you know, a proper, comfortable, and suitable work environment is
really necessary for a worker to prevent risk factors and reduce occupational
injuries like repetitive strain injuries and cumulative trauma disorders. Many
workers not only feel distressed due to the overwhelming demands at work but
also feel more and more depressed due to the compromised working environment,
poor quality workstations, poor tools, and poor posture, so today we will
discuss how bad posture and other factors combined with increased physical
demands of work increase the risk of injury and re-injury sometimes posing
danger to the standard guidelines of ergonomics and workplace safety squelching
employee satisfaction. Read on...
The work environment is characterized by the interaction between the following elements:
- The WORKER: With the attributes of width, height, strength, intellect, range of motion, education, expectations and many other physical and mental characteristics.
- The WORKSTATION: Including furniture, tools, display and control panels, and other items required for work.
- The WORKING ENVIRONMENT: Including lighting, temperature, vibration, noise, and other atmospheric qualities.
The interaction of all the above points determines the manner by which a task is performed and what are its physical demands. For example, for a load of 72.5 kg carried to 1.77 m, a male worker loads from floor to generate 272 pounds of muscle strength in the lower back. When physical demands of work increase, the risk of injury increases simultaneously and when physical demands of a task exceed the capabilities of a worker or operator, an injury can occur which is detrimental to a worker’s health and safety.
Risk factors of work
There are certain characteristics of workplace injuries that have been associated with these features and are called risk factors of work. They include:
Physical characteristics of the task, which is the primary interaction between the worker and the workplace and include:
- or force
- or repetitions
- or velocity / acceleration
- or duration
- or recovery time
- or dynamic load
- or vibration in segments.
Environmental characteristics are also primary interaction between the worker and the workplace that include:
- heat stress
- or cold stress
- or vibration to the body
- or lighting
- or noise
Posture is referred to as a position that the body of a worker takes to do a job. The squatting posture has been associated with an increased risk of injuries. Generally, a joint that deviates from the neutral position also produces a high risk of injury.
Specific postures that are associated with injuries are:
- For wrist, the position of extension and flexion is associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
- or ulnar deviation greater than 20 degrees is associated with increased pain and pathology.
- Abduction or flexion over 60 degrees which is maintained by more than an hour per day is associated with acute neck pain.
- Hands above shoulder height are related to tendinitis and various pathologies of the shoulder.
- In the cervical spine, a flexion of 30 degrees takes 300 minutes to produce symptoms of acute pain and flexion of 60 degrees takes 120 minutes to produce the same symptoms.
- The extension of arm has been linked up with neck pain and shoulder numbness and pain in the muscles of the shoulders.
- In the lower back or trunk, sagittal angle has been associated with occupational disorders in the lower back.
Factory owners and industry employers must understand that in order to increase employee satisfaction besides praising and appreciating for the work done and motivating the workers to do more work by appraisals, they must include up-to-date working environment by replacing malfunctioning workstations with ergonomically correct workstations, poor quality tools and machines to newly advanced tools because by doing this employers will not only get good quality work from their workers but the physical demands at work will automatically decrease due to ease and comfort provided at the workplace. This will also help in increasing employee satisfaction.