Occupational health and safety is important to the productivity of employees hence the success of any organization. Therefore, issues related to occupational health and safety need to be addressed by the management, especially the human resources management department since it’s the one that deals directly with employees. This can be achieved by the development of plans and policies that govern how such issues can be addressed and taken care of in the organization.
According to the article on “Employee Health and Fitness”(2003), various health and safety issues related or that may arise at work place for employees who sit for long period of hours in front of computer screens are far and reaching, thus necessitating development of policies that can address these issues. According to the article, the health problems that may arise from such occupations include; musculoskeletal problems such as back, neck and shoulder pains. There can also be a problem of muscle spasm as a result of prolonged sitting leading to wear and tear of the muscles sometimes leading to headaches and fatigue. In addition, the article points out that apart from the musculoskeletal problems, the light from computer screens can cause problems of eyesight if the light is not kept at moderate levels.
This causes strain to the eyes and eventually one can develop eye problems. Thus the article emphasizes proper office ergonomics that will help resolve all these problems and improve employee productivity. Some of the office ergonomics that can be adopted by the management include, a right lighting level of the computer screen to avoid eye strain, use of comfortable chairs, avoiding bright sunlight on the computer screen since it makes it hard to read from the screen, causing further strain of the eyes and finally, ensuring proper ventilation to reduce the amount of pathogens that cause allergies and sneezing.
Therefore, taking a closer look at the above issues, there is need to come up with policies, as a corporation to govern and address the above issues. These policies should be office ergonomics oriented and should target the employee, who is the main player in the organization. For this to be achieved successfully, there is need to first indentify health and safety issues in question, assess the risks arising from these issues and the finally come up with solutions and develop policies to deal with each issue. As outlined in SBA about “Employee-Handbook”, identification of safety and health issues in order to come up with policies and solutions will involve consulting with the employees, observing work tasks as they are performed and counterchecking accidents and injury records.
Therefore, the first policy to address the above issues can be a work schedule policy that directs on the working hours of each employee in the organization thus ensuring that they do not stay for long periods in front of computer screens. The other policy that can be put across is the communication policy that provides channels through which employees can report all injuries, discomforts, accidents and potential health hazards without fear. The final policy is the one on employee training and sensitization on appropriate computer and software use.
Having developed the policies, the health problems and safety issues related to employees who sit behind computers can be resolved through implementation and evaluation of the aforementioned policies. For instance, the issue of ergonomics for the office can be addressed by proper positioning of each employee in the work place to ensure comfort for example by availing chairs that can be adjusted for their height and placed in a position where they would not need to move the head up or down to read the screen. The work place should be spacious enough to allow free movement of employees, and the computer devices they are using to avoid strain and finally, one can allow employees to take short breaks in between their working schedule. This does not only relax their mind and eyesight, but also aids in proper blood circulation and muscle relaxation.
In conclusion, every organization should uphold proper office ergonomics to take care of the employee’s safety and health thus promoting their productivity hence achievement of organization’s goals and objectives.