An ergonomic workspace is crucial to take care of the health of workers and minimize the risk of injuries and accidents at work. Ergonomics is not just about furniture, it is also present in our postures and the way we move throughout the day, from how we sit in our chairs to how we meet, move around the office or interact with our colleagues.
Why is ergonomics important at work?
Conditioning our space to feel good on a physical, anatomical and psychological level is essential to enjoy good health. Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, eye fatigue or stress not only has an impact on our work productivity, but also on our personal life and well-being. But thinking that ergonomics is sitting correctly in a chair is an approach that falls far short...
Types of work ergonomics
Physical ergonomics . It refers to the furniture, materials and tools that we need, as well as our posture while we use them.
Environmental ergonomics . It encompasses the type and amount of light, noise and the temperature of the space.
Cognitive ergonomics . Factors that increase or decrease worker stress. For example, the workload, the decision-making process, the psychological impact of some tasks, etc.
Organizational ergonomics . This includes the worker's relationship with the company and his colleagues, company policy, internal communication, schedule, etc.
Who deals with ergonomics at work?
On the one hand, there are all those companies and professionals in charge of developing tools with an ergonomic design and adapted to work spaces. And, on the other hand, there are the Occupational Risk Prevention professionals. The PRL team is in charge of carrying out preventive ergonomics , that is, the study and analysis of safety, comfort and health conditions, as well as explaining these standards to the staff. On the other hand, not all situations can always be foreseen and sometimes problems arise that need to be remedied. In this case, corrective ergonomics is carried out that solves the problems that workers experience on a day-to-day basis and were not contemplated anywhere. The ORP department can be internal, as part of the company's staff, or external, if a specific company is subcontracted for this task.
How can we avoid risks related to ergonomics at work?
- Designing a risk plan that includes all types of ergonomics.
- Training workers so that they are aware of the importance and impact it has on their health and know how to perform their tasks in the best possible way.
- Using adequate tables, chairs and tools that adapt to the workers and allow them to be in a comfortable position.
- Facilitating the change of posture during the day, adding movement to avoid all the risks associated with postures held for long periods of time.
- Adding spaces dedicated to active rest and relaxation.
As we have already mentioned, there is a legal framework and a department in charge of these tasks. However, we are all responsible for our own health and it is in our power to work in a way that benefits us and does not worsen our quality of life. Do not hesitate to discuss with your company all those tools that would be useful for you and to do everything in your power to add dynamism to your day.