We’ve talked so far about the major risks in the office environment and also about highlighting mental health conditions and how you can help to reduce them or assist an employee affected. Now we need to talk about the key basics which affect an employee on a daily basis.
For instance, do your employees know how to sit?
Sitting incorrectly can drastically increase the chance of developing chronic pain conditions, such as lower back pain, sciatica, and even repetitive strain injury (RSI) and carpal tunnel syndrome. In addition, not understanding the importance of breaks and getting up and moving around can also put them in danger of developing sitting disease, which links to a sedentary lifestyle.
Using active working methods, such as stand height tables or height adjustable desks is vital, but as an employer, you also need to make sure that these are safe to use. Having regular checks on your office furniture is vital, to ensure that the mechanics of such equipment is working properly and isn’t going to collapse or cause harm. Any breakages or any damage to equipment such as this also needs to be reported and investigated immediately, putting the equipment out of action until the problems solved.
It’s a good idea to incorporate ‘how to sit’ tutorials into regular training sessions with your employees. For instance, when a new member of staff joins the office they will have induction training, and this type of tutorial could be included in that. When staff have their annual training updates, this could be reintroduced to remind them and check that they’re actually following advice.
If any member of staff approaches you complaining of aches and pains or mentions a problem with their working set up, as an employer you are duty-bound to investigate and make any necessary adjustments. This might mean giving your employee advice on how to sit properly, as it might not necessarily be the actual chair or desk which is causing the issue. A risk assessment should be undertaken, to identify the problem and rectify it as soon as possible.
Put simply, there is no place in a contemporary office for incorrect sitting!
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