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Office Ergonomics Are Key To Business Success

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Office Ergonomics|Office Ergonomics Are Key To Business SuccessA good business is one that takes the health and safety of all its employees seriously and part of this is to consider good, sound ergonomic practice in the office space.

If employees are engaged in repetitive tasks that put their bodies under strain, over time, this will show in their performance and in their general wellbeing. This has a negative effect on their work and their ability to achieve in the longer term.

Standard office environments offer many different challenges to the health and wellbeing of employees and, over the last few years, the understanding of this has increased. However, gaining a greater knowledge of good office ergonomic practice is one of the most important ways in which employees can be happier, fulfilled and safer.

Why Businesses Must Take Ergonomics Seriously

Put simply, a good grounding in ergonomic practice can help minimize and prevent injuries and conditions that arise from repetitive office work. The most commonly reported concerns amongst employees are injuries to the musculoskeletal system, caused by sitting or standing in the same position for too long, and repetitive strain injuries from activities such as sitting and typing.

How To Implement Good Ergonomic Practice

These issues need to be addressed, and one way of doing this is by having face to face meetings with employees either via one to one interviews or a larger group conference so that everyone can talk and air their views together and workable solutions can be discussed.

Another good way of gaining a greater understanding is to look at hiring a team of people to come in and observe how employees work and how they interact and move within the office environment, noting any health and safety concerns as well as the types of activities being carried out. Information on how employees sit or stand, how they move around the office are all important, as are looking at what can be done to improve rest facilities and creating spaces so that staff can have separate areas to work and relax in.

From these observations, solutions can be derived. These can be as simple as providing better, and more comfortable and supportive office chairs and desks, to providing better solutions such as wall storage bins that require little in the way of repetitive bending or stretching to use, or office shelves placed at heights all people can reach without having to bend or stretch.

What Results Can Such Practices Offer?

The results of such observations mean that long term both the business and the employee will reap the benefits. There will be less time lost in disputes and sick leave, and employees will hopefully be happier and healthier as a result.

A business that looks after its staff will almost certainly see a rise in productivity levels, and reductions in compensation claims and occupational health appointments. Many companies often overlook the topic of ergonomics when considering staff health and wellbeing, considering it the least of their worries. However, a little time spent on this now can result in a happier, healthier and more productive workforce now and in the future too.

5 Ways to Extend the Lifespan of Industrial Machinery

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article |Industrial Machinery|5 Ways to Extend the Lifespan of Industrial MachineryIndustrial machinery is heavy-duty, but it is not immune to wear and tear. Poorly maintained equipment is not efficient, breaks down frequently, and can be a severe safety hazard. Preventative maintenance can limit how often a machine breaks down and extend its lifespan. Below are five ways to increase the life of industrial machinery that help business owners reduce machine downtime, unnecessary repairs, and associated costs.

1.) Check Fluid Levels

When industrial equipment breaks down, it can cost the business a lot of money in lost productivity and expensive repairs. Simple measures, such as checking the Thermal Heat Transfer fluid levels, can help extend the lifespan of industrial machinery and decrease machine downtime. Thermal heat transfer fluid is often used to move heat to the outside to prevent overheating.

Another fluid to check regularly is a machine’s lubricant. Lubricants keep a machine running smoothly by reducing the amount of friction that occurs between moving parts. When lubricants run low, the machine can overheat and increase wear and tear.

2.) Clean Machines Thoroughly

The phrase “industrial machinery” often invokes thoughts of grimy, grease-laden machine shops. Unfortunately, leaving machinery filthy can cause them to break down more frequently. Dirt and debris will clog air filters, destroy the seals, and work its way into gears, causing the machine to become less efficient and eventually break down. Cleaning the machine thoroughly and often is a simple way to prevent this and extend the machine’s life.

3.) Check for Worn-Out Parts

Industrial machinery is exposed to extreme temperatures, constant vibrations, and extensive friction. These things will cause the parts of a machine to wear out quickly, which can cause an untimely breakdown. Regularly checking the machine for signs of wear such as warped belts, cracked seals, and loose bolts should be included in the maintenance schedule.

4.) Provide Extensive Operator Training

A machine is only as good as the person who operates it. A lack of training often means employees cannot operate or maintain the equipment properly, leading to wear and tear. Providing extensive training ensures that the machine is run properly and reduces the risk of downtime because of breakdowns and repairs. Proper training will protect employees from sustaining injuries because of improper operation and keep the facility in line with OSHA standards.

5.) Follow a Maintenance Schedule

Like a car, industrial machinery has a list of parts that need to be inspected regularly to keep it running efficiently. It is important for operators to know what needs to be checked and how often. The easiest way to keep track of the necessary maintenance is to create a schedule and train employees how to follow it.
Employees should not be asked to perform maintenance tasks best left to professionals, but they can perform operational safety checks. They should log every service that is performed on the machine in a logbook so that no maintenance check is overlooked, causing the machine to sustain more damage.

The Bottom Line

When industrial machines break down, it can grind production to a halt. Any pause in production can be costly for business owners. Proper equipment maintenance can reduce the number of machine breakdowns the experience and extend the life of their machinery. While there are some steps that operators or machine owners can take for themselves toward improving maintenance, in-house maintenance cannot replace yearly inspections and repairs provided by a professional.

5 Business Benefits of Good Health and Safety at Work

StrategyDriven Human Performance Article |Health and Safety|5 Business Benefits of Good Health and Safety at WorkInstilling good health and safety practices in your workplace is essential. In fact, it should always be at the top of a business’s priorities, even if the industry your business is part of isn’t considered to undertake high-risk activities.

Failing to put in place appropriate health and safety measures can have serious repercussions that may negatively impact the overall success of your company. To emphasize more, this article will take you through the 5 business benefits of good health and safety at work that you should know about.

1. Save more on legal and insurance costs

It’s generally a bad idea for your business to be in and out of courtrooms due to scenarios that might have been avoided in the first place. Having said that, accidents at work can turn out to be very expensive in terms of legal fees, compensation payouts, fines, and remedial action required. If you properly train your employees on the importance of maintaining safety at the workplace, the possibility of having any costly accidents are greatly reduced.

2. Increase productivity

Good health and safety can also increase the overall productivity of any business. With proper measures in place, your employees will be able to carry out their jobs more efficiently, while remaining safe. This is because their morale will be highly uplifted knowing that they have very little to worry about concerning their health and safety at the workplace. I’m sure you’d like your employees to leave the workplace in the same healthy condition they arrived in, right?

“Back in the day, if there was an accident or health and safety issue in your workplace, you may have opened a filing cabinet to follow the paper trail. Those days are gone”, says David Rowland, head of marketing at Effective Software. “This is because the software has now become the dominant way to administer health and safety systems, and this can save your business time, unnecessary losses and, in the end, money”.

3. Enhance reputation

If your employees feel that you care about their health and safety, they will probably tell people about it. In the end, you’ll have more competition for employment spaces, and most importantly – more people will get to know about your brand (products or services).

For instance, let’s say you work as a call center agent in Company A, and as a result of work, you develop a throat and voice problem. Since you’ve made it a habit to call your mum after work, this time you simply text her and tell her that you can’t speak on the phone due to a voice problem you got from work. In the end, your mum might get a feeling that the company you’re working for is very irresponsible, and even go on to tell a friend about it. Word spreads around, and before you realize it, people don’t want to work for that company or buy its products.

4. Reduce absenteeism

Injuries or illness as a result of poor working conditions is arguably the main cause of increased employee absenteeism. For instance, if an integral staff member develops a more severe problem that requires an extended sick leave or time off, then you’ll definitely have to hire a new employee. Alternatively, you can choose to train someone within the company to take over the post. In as much as this is a step in the right direction, recruiting and training someone new will certainly cost you money. Don’t forget the amount of sick pay that you’ll have to pay the sick staff member.

5. Retain loyal employees

If your staff members feel valued by your company, this will most definitely make them happier at work. As a result, none of your employees would like to quit and work for a rival company. After all, who wouldn’t want to work for a highly reputable and caring company? Certainly not me!

It’s important that both you and your staff members are properly protected from injuries or illness at the workplace. By taking the necessary steps to safeguard their health and wellbeing, your employees will be far more inclined to focus on ensuring that your business succeeds. That’s why it’s important to remember the aforementioned business benefits of good health and safety at work.