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Ergonomical hazards

Viimati uuendatud: 25.02.2017

Ergonomical hazards

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, ergonomical hazards are the difficulty of physical labour, repetitiveness of same movements, forced working positions and movements, and other similar factors that could lead to health damages in time. As for all remaining hazards, the existence of ergonomical hazards requires a risk assessment of the working environment – evaluate whether the employee’s working position (sitting, standing) or work movements could lead to the deterioration of the employee’s health. If a risk exists that the employee’s health could deteriorate, means must be applied to prevent such health damage. For example, enable resting breaks, fine-tune the workplace to fit the employee, provide suitable working shoes for employees working in the standing position, etc.

The employer is obliged to guarantee the preservation of the employee’s health and well-being. In addition to avoiding occupational accidents, checking the proper working condition of devices and machines (incl. the existence of protective covers) and fine-tuning them, also when handling dangerous chemicals, attention must also be paid to the suitability of the employee’s workplace and how the employee performs their work.

  • See what Tööelu website writes about ergonomics

A workplace must be fine-tuned to correspond to the employee’s needs as the employee must be able to perform their work with minimum effort (e.g. the employee must not lift heavy boxes onto a pallet, up to the employee’s shoulder height). Suitable means must be found to ease the employee’s work (e.g. the use of a lifting table or platform with adjustable height).

  • See what Tööelu website writes about lifting heavy objects manually

May it be work with a monitor or fulfilling other tasks, attention must also be paid to working in forced positions. It is crucial that the workplace is as comfortable to the employee as possible (suitable chair and table height, the room for performing work tasks).

  • See what Tööelu website writes about working at a computer, forced position and movements, and working in a sitting position  

Attention must also be paid to employees who are constantly standing and moving (waitresses, hairdressers, salesclerks, etc), and the possible risk to their health assessed. To decrease the health risk, employees must be guaranteed breaks and provided with suitable working footwear.

  • See what Tööelu website writes about working in a standing-up position

Employees performing repetitive movements or working in forced positions must have recovery breaks. It is better to offer frequent yet smaller breaks than longer breaks that are infrequent.

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