Sorting out the ergonomics in a workplace and educating staff about the benefits of ergonomically-sound working methods will reduce stress among employees, according to health professionals.

Sorting out the ergonomics in a workplace and educating staff about the benefits of ergonomically-sound working methods will reduce stress among employees, according to health professionals.

Stress has been linked to working conditions and processes for several decades and the pressures being applied to employees as a result of economic uncertainty are aggravating the situation. ‘Psychosocial factors’ are coming into play and employers are now seeing an increase in musculoskeletal problems among workers due to high perceived workload, time pressures and fears around job security.

Jon Abbott, managing director – ergonomics and safety at Cardinus Risk Management, said, “The need to hit deadlines, prove their worth and the fear of redundancy can result in employees failing to report injuries and ill-health. They don’t want to be seen as weak or letting the side down in difficult times. The psychological pressures on workers to be more productive are having the opposite effect and are taking their toll on their relationships, work/life balance and, inevitably, their health.”

By considering psychosocial factors alongside workplace ergonomics, companies can reduce employees’ stress levels as they improve their safety and comfort. Ergonomics is a discipline that considers three main factors: tasks, environment and people. In considering people’s ability to carry out a task safely and efficiently, psychological and social factors need to be examined. Any individual suffering psychological or social pressure will have their ability to perform affected.

Mr Abbott said, “Stress levels among workers have continued to rise and now we see stress at an all-time high. Reports suggest that low on the job control and poor social support may be associated with musculoskeletal problems and that stress symptoms contribute to the development of the disorders.

“Ergonomic risk management can help improve productivity through reduced absenteeism, fewer work-related injuries and improved staff health, well-being and morale.”

In order to show its support for National Stress Awareness Day on November 2, Cardinus Risk Management is offering a free Stress Indicator licence with every licence of Workstation Safety Plus bought in November 2011.

Cardinus has been developing effective ergonomics programmes for more than 17 years. Its customers include many of the world’s leading organisations, central government departments and unions.

The Cardinus approach to effective ergonomic management is to apply simple programmes that provide a modular, adaptable solution. Workstation Safety Plus, the innovative online DSE assessment and e-learning solution, provides award-winning solutions that are fully endorsed by the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management.

Cardinus provides on-site and telephonic DSE assessments and, when needed, will supply DSE triage and case management solutions.

For more information about ergonomic risk management services and other Cardinus products telephone 020 7469 0200.

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