Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

1.5. he importance of identifying hazards and risks in the working environment

ryanrori February 8, 2021

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Call/Contact centre operators should have ergonomic chairs that are adjustable, comfortable and have good back support. 

Chairs should:

  • Swivel
  • Have a five-leg star base for stability
  • Have breathable fabric on the seat
  • Have a rounded front edge
  • Have adjustable seat height and backrest for lumbar support.
http://xynergyspa.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Office-Ergonomics.jpg

Source: xynergyspa.com

Desks:

The size of the desk or workbench must be sufficient for all equipment, task materials/references and the tasks the worker performs. All equipment and task materials on or around the desk should be within comfortable reach

Consider adjustable desk heights to accommodate people, such as shift workers, of various heights who may share workstations in order to prevent over-reaching or twisting of any part of the body which could result in injury.

In terms of the OHSA an employer has a legal duty to safeguard employees’ health, safety and welfare whilst at work as well as anyone visiting the premises. 

Other equipment used at a workstation should be ergonomically designed and positioned. This may include:

  • The computer monitor
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Mouse pad
  • Document holder.
http://www.everythingusb.com/images/list/smartfish_ergomotion_engage_keyboard_diagram.jpg

Source: www.everythingusb.com 

Electrical hazards:

Risks can arise from the presence of electrical cables and cords in work areas. These should be effectively addressed. A cable/cord management strategy can help prevent slips, trips and falls and electrical risks that may arise as a result of the placement of those cables/cords.

The consequences to the employer and employees

The importance of identifying hazards and risks are numerous but the most important reason for an employer is that a lack of prevention of hazards and risks also results in financial losses as a result of, e.g.: 

  • a fire or explosion at the workplace
  • power outages as a result of electrical failures
  • injuries as a result of equipment running out of control
  • injuries as a result of staff not being trained properly in the use of equipment
  • injuries as a result of the lack of attention to ergonomics 

Example:

  • An employee who is required to stand at a reception desk for a continual period of 4 hours. 
    • No provision is made for seating or a variety of work activities because his/her main role is to direct patrons to other staff members for the service required. 
    • This is an example of a lack of attention to ergonomics as the employee develops a sore back and sore feet at the end of his shift. The pain becomes worse as the shift progresses resulting in absenteeism as a result of sick leave and medical costs to the employer as a result of injury on duty.

Correctly adjusted chairs help the employee to:

  • Maintain correct body posture
  • Maintain good blood circulation
  • Reduce muscular effort
  • Decrease pressure on their back.