A healthy and happy employee is a more productive employee. Most employers today are aware of this fact and are investing more and more into making their workplace healthier and safer for their employees. To this end, new technologies, new best practices are being adopted, worldwide.
Where’s there’s work, there’s risk
Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, workplaces have been fraught with danger. Hence the origin of the term “occupational hazard”. Use of heavy machinery, dangerous tools and technologies increased the risks of the workplace. In the last fifty years, a large percentage of the population have opted for white collared jobs. These too have given rise to various health hazards as they tend to imprison people indoors, in unnatural cramped conditions.
Health and Safety – More Than Just Catchwords
Workplace safety has been a watchword for decades now. However, few employers were truly aware of the real nature of the health hazards that their employees faced. Recent research has not only increased awareness, but also have gone a long way in creating technology that is truly workforce centric. As you are reading this, workplaces around the world are becoming healthier and safer by the minute. The key to achieving this, is of course, innovation in technology.
Let’s have a look at the five new age innovations that are going a long way in making work much safer.
Ergonomic Furniture: Posture is Everything
Increasingly, more and more people have to spend hours at a stretch confined to a chair. Moreover, if the chair is not of a perfect design, it could lead to serious health issues. Muscular cramps, spinal dysfunction and general stress on the whole skeletal system. Some could also end up crippled for life!
The answer to this is the new field of ergonomics. Also known as functional design, comfort design or user-friendly systems, ergonomics is about designing products, systems and processes so that they can be put to optimum use without causing much stress or harm to the user.
This has led to innovative furniture designs that better supports the human body.
Biometrics: Human Science
Biometric sensors are becoming much more common in today’s workplace. From retinal scanners to fingerprint scanners on laptops, this bit of technology is being used in many creative ways, even in safety procedures.
Biometric sensors can tell when a person is approaching a hazardous area, in a factory or a warehouse and warn the person off with appropriate signals.
Is there an area in the workplace where the wearing of helmets is mandatory? Well, a chip-enabled helmet can caution the employee who carelessly takes it off when he is there. It is exactly like your car telling you when you need to put on your seatbelt but definitely more complex.
Vital Stats Monitoring
This innovative technology is especially useful in high stress and hazardous professions like that of firefighting and mining.
State-of-the-art sensors monitors, blood pressure, adrenaline levels, pulse rate and other such vital statistics are monitored. When they reach a level that approaches a health hazard, these same sensors set off an alarm and the employee is quickly removed from the scene.
These sensors can also alert the employer about imminent heart attacks and strokes!
We all know that looking at a computer screen for hours can be stressful. However, exactly how dangerous is something that recent research is starting to discover. Most computer screens emit ultraviolet radiation that can cause severe damage not only to the eye, but also to the brain. As a result, migraines, stress diseases and many other health problems have emerged.
Employers are adopting screens that are easy on the eye and the mind. Also, a sensor warns the user when he has been staring at the screen for just a little too long.
The mouse, so easy to click with, can also cause grievous harm to the tendons of the finger and the palm. New means of interfacing like joysticks and sensor pads are being developed to counter this.
Till recently most workplaces used fluorescent light. However, the steady, unchanging bluish light emitted by these kinds of lights can cause severe depression, anxiety, panic attacks and a host of other psychological problems. Humans were not meant to be shut up in closed spaces where the light never changes.
The answer is to utilize yellow, eye-friendly lights that vary in intensity and brightness during different times of the day.
Work is Important and So is Health and Safety.
Activism by employee group and lawsuits are not the only reason organizations around the world are investing more employee health and safety. The corporation of today is genuinely interested in the welfare of its employees and is ready to go the extra mile to ensure it. Naturally, a major corporation employs thousands of employees and may have hundreds of points where safety can be improved upon. For these businesses it is best you get specially designed health and safety software such as the tools provided at www.ecompliance.com.
The writer, Edrick Hypolite, is a freelance writer studying occupational health in an effort to help create safer and healthier environments for everybody. If you wish to learn more about Edrick you can visit Google+.