Physical Work Environment Factors

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Companies must pay close attention to the physical work environment factors that affect their employees. Successfully addressing issues to handle these factors can assure higher productivity from workers. It also helps to reduce on-the-job injuries. The level of risk a person may experience depends on the frequency of exposure to environmental factors.

Temperature

  • Companies should maintain an appropriate temperature for employees. Although most people have their own preferences for hot and cold temperatures, an unpleasant setting may cause workers to perform poorly on the job. When work is performed outdoors, employers must take into account how long the employee will be exposed to direct sunlight, rain or snow. Adequate provisions must be in place to reduce the harmful effects of working in extreme conditions.

Lighting

  • Without proper lighting, people may strain to view objects, which can lead to eye fatigue. This is especially important for those who use a computer frequently to perform work-related tasks. When viewing contrasts between dark and light areas of a computer screen, people can experience headaches. Companies can improve a poor lighting situation by using light diffusers and drapes to cover windows.

Heavy Lifting

  • Repetitive heavy lifting increases the chances of injury. Proper lifting techniques must be practiced. Bursitis and spinal disc herniation are just a couple of the disorders that can result from poor lifting technique. Employers can use materials and equipment that make the process of lifting objects easier. Properly training employees about lifting safely can mitigate negative impacts from this physical work environment factor.

Noise

  • Increased levels of noise in the workplace can cause employees to endure stress and fatigue. To control noise in an area, carpeting is recommended. Hard surfaces act to reflect noise and boosts the volume of anything striking those surfaces in an office. Office machines can also contribute to high noise levels. Barriers that absorb sounds can help control this. The ideal sound range for office work varies between 55 to 65 decibels.

References

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