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Optimal Working Conditions

Scenario:
The Home Company had been a family owned call-center business for many years. Recently, it had grown so large that it had become impossible for the family structure to handle the 2000 employees that were scattered across the country. A Fortune 200 Company had acquired it and it now has a new Board of Directors.

You are one of four Human Resource Managers. You have been hired to take over one of the geographical regions. You will be responsible for handling all safety issues and OSHA compliance.

Historically, the HR policies have been largely informal and implemented inconsistently. There had been a fair amount of nepotism. Family members or their friends filled many of the key positions.

Recently, there was a large turnover rate and the new HR managers have been instructed to create new HR policies for the new Board of Directors. The new board is made up of key executive managers from the acquiring Fortune 200 Company. They feel there is a need to upgrade the HR policies, but recognize that there must be a reasonable amount of time given for the transition.

************ Task needing assistance:

You have been requested to perform an ergonomic review of the workstations for all Executive Assistants in the company. Research what is needed in an environmental review in an office setting and identify the major factors to consider when performing an ergonomic review of the Executive Assistant workstations. Identify 5 conditions you would check in or around the Assistant's workstation, what recommendations you would make, and what you would hope to prevent by your recommendations. For example- by providing a wrist rest with each computer mouse, you would hope to lessen the incidence of carpal tunnel cases.

Solution Preview

Below are the major factors to consider when performing an ergonomic review of the Executive Assistant workstations, conditions to be checked in or around the Assistant's workstation and recommendations.

* Working Position
Workig in the neutral position needs to be provided. Equipment in the office should be designed to ensure that the s-curve of the spinal column is always retained, whether the Executive Assistant is sitting at his/her desk or standing up to work. Retaining the s-curve helps to reduce the risk of injury: by keeping the neck aligned in its neutral position (i.e. in line with the spine), prolonged twisting and unhealthy bent postures will be avoided and pressure that may damage the remainder of the spine will be reduced.

Equipment should also be designed to keep elbows and shoulder relaxed and in their natural position and the wrists in a neutral position, in line with the forearm.

* Keeping everything in easy reach
A good workstation design will have a semi-circle of activity within which everything the Executive Assistant needs is located. This will help avoid undue stretching and straining. Simple rearrangement of the work area should help the Executive Assistant achieve this objective.

* Working at proper heights
Not only does this make things easier, it is much more comfortable and will reduce undue stress on the Executive Assistant's body.

* Reducing Excessive Motion
By rationalising the motions made throughout the day by fingers, wrists and arms, the Executive Assistant can help relieve stress on all these appendages and also your back.

* Minimising static load
Holding the same position for a period of time is known as ...

Solution Summary

The major factors to consider when performing an ergonomic review of the Executive Assistant workstations, conditions to be checked in or around the Assistant's workstation and recommendations are explored.

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