Ergonomics on Health and Well-Being
It may be a fancy word, but ergonomics in health and safety is concerned with the way people use/interact with equipment in terms of comfort and preventing injuries such as Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), whilst also focusing on the effectiveness and productivity allowed whilst using it.
Workplace users of tools and equipment will all be affected by ergonomics in some way. These users will come from virtually all industries, ranging from office workers who make use of computer chairs, typing wrist rests etc to construction site workers who use a range of hand-held tools and pieces of equipment.
Whilst a person may be able to get away with experiencing little or no discomfort in the short term, poor ergonomics can cause severe health and well-being problems for a person over the long-term if these issues are not addressed and rectified at an early stage.
Unless items are custom-built for a specific user, they will need to be adjustable so that they can accommodate being used by people of varying sizes, shapes and weights. Ergonomics also applies to work areas, and must be considered along with equipment during the planning stage of operations. A person who has to twist around awkwardly or carry heavy/bulky loads to perform their work duties will be at risk of conditions such as manual handling injuries. Ideally these risks need to be identified in the planning stage, and a suitable risk assessment may need to be performed before the work commences or before workstations are constructed to prevent it being an issue.