Manual Handling - Stand Rather Than Sit?
Comfort in the workplace is not just about making employees happy and contented at work; it also has a direct bearing upon their health and wellbeing insofar as being uncomfortable usually means that there is a strain upon a part of the worker's body. As most people's work day lasts quite a few hours, the strain over this lengthy period of time will more often than not lead to an injury occurring which can keep them off work and severely impact their social life for many weeks or months to come whilst it heals.
Many workers will initially request a seat and sit down at their workstation to do their job. However it may be the case that sitting down requires them to stretch awkwardly to reach something, or try and lift an object whilst sat down which puts a lot of pressure on their spine as they lean over. In this situation the worker may actually be more comfortable and be less likely to suffer an injury by standing at their workstation rather than sitting down. Even so, it is important that they take regular breaks and sit down, or if possible sit down in between those tasks which require them to stand.
The ergonomics and design of an employee's workstation and their working area is an important factor for managers to consider, particularly when moving into a new building or re-arranging the layout of an existing work space, and should form part of a comprehensive risk assessment. Along with manual handling training and health and safety courses, the design of the workspace can have a significant impact upon the likelihood of workers suffering manual handling injuries as the less distance they need to move objects the lower the probability of an injury.