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Ergo-safety: Creating Harmony Among The Worker And The Workplace!

January 20, 2014

Guest Author: Patrick S Matira

Office Worker

We all know that a healthy worker is a productive worker.  

The health and safety of an office employee clearly falls under the responsibility of the employing organization. The organisation it self must ensure that they carry out comprehensive office ergonomic surveys.

Simply put, ergonomic surveys are a way of exposing workplace designs that tend to place employee’s under undue physical effort at work and increase their discomfort that incapacitate them to undertake work safely.

Why office ergonomic Survey /Assessments ?

Office ergonomic assessment is an area often neglected by management because they fail to perceive its direct importance to the organization.  Just like the tip of an iceberg, there are many unseen risk that an organization may face from poor office ergonomics that maybe lurking below the surface.  However with positive action  these risk can be reduced or removed totally.

Way forward!

It is imperative for organizations to begin the year 2014 with established strategies of how ergonomic related matters will be prevailed over.  It begins by carrying out assessments and ends by instituting adequate, appropriate measures and recommendations.


Responsible person accountable for occupational health and safety at an organization should design an open-ended questionnaire with questions that seek to expose discomforting working zones. The questionnaire can be distributed through emails since it is an assessment for employees who are working in offices. The answers on the questioner will expose situations that might require intervention.

Consolidate acquired information through observation. Observe awkward postures and use of office furniture and equipment. Do not end there, go further to assess computer glare, and identify hazards such as temperature and illumination.

A risk score template may be of great advantage in assessing the prevalence score of the assessed workstations. Establish adequate recommendations which should be implemented as appropriate to reduce risk.

Remember, we want workers in 2014 to commence work  in well harmonized offices, structured to promote healthy working conditions and effectiveness in employees.

After collecting and analyzing your data it may be valid to communicate findings and recommendations to other management staff. Note your recommendations may vary greatly depending on situations observed. In some cases training and awareness will suffice, whereas in some instances a total redesign of the office workplace may be the only adequate solution.

Summing up!

A person’s capability to work in an office depends on a well structured healthy and safe working environment in order for them to work at their full potential.  By failing to address ergonomic problems companies often fail to reach its set objectives and targets. So it is important that ergonomics in the office is established as a priority.

Addressing office ergonomics can drastically change business performance in a positive manner.

Guest Author: Patrick S Matira

Patrick is an experienced OHS Consultant from Zimbabwe and is a specialist in Occupational Ergonomics. He has successfully carried ergonomic assessments in various organizations within his region of operation. Contact for more information.

  1. Rita Oshiro permalink

    Very interesting. I like this kind of questionnaires because they are useful to understand the ergo issues at the office and to define an action plan.

  2. shantanu permalink

    Hi can u share more details and assessment tool, if possible

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