Health and Safety at Workplace in Nigeria
ERGONOMICS AND WORK STRESS ISSUES IN BANKING ENVIRONMENT
Stress at workplace is an increasingly common feature of modern life. Work stress can be defined as the non-specific response of the body to any demands made upon it. It is considered to be an internal state or reaction to anything we consciously or unconsciously perceive as a threat, either real or imagined.Robbins defines stress as a dynamic condition in which the individual is confronted with an opportunity, constraint, or demand related to what he or she desires and for which the outcome is perceived to be both uncertain and important.
The workplace environment plays a very important role in determining the stress.That is why while designing the workplace, various ergonomic factors should be considered like humidity system, lighting, work area design, acoustic system and many more.The failure to implement ergonomic principles at workplace leads to physical, emotional and mental health problems and decreased work productivity and efficiency.
The financial services sector is traversing a period of major change resulting from globalization
and market deregulation, which has resulted in substantial restructuring, especially through merger and acquisition activity both in industrialized and developing countries (ILO, 2001).
EMPLOYEES AT FINANCIAL SECTOR ARE UNDER STRESS BECAUSE OF:
• Increased competition, both domestically and internationally, has resulted in organizations
introducing cost-cutting and productivity improving strategies, which have resulted in increasing demands on employees
• Working with cash puts a great stress on handlers as there is no space for any mistake.
• Systems such as closed circuit television (CCTV), Call centre technologies enable employers to constantly keep employees under surveillance.The feeling of being constantly under surveillance puts great stress on the employees. However, this is required for the security of the environment because of the underworld.
• Employees who are in regular contact with members of the public are known to be at more risk of violence than those who work in seclusion.
• Computer-based jobs are less demanding in terms of physical effort, but require more cognitive processing and mental attention.
• Prolonged sitting, static posture, poor ergonomic environment and inadequate break intervals make the employees exhausted at workplace.
SOLUTIONS TO THESE ERGONOMIC PROBLEMS
As time pressure is the major risk factor related to overall Musculoskeletal symptoms among all office employees. Employees should be given awareness about office ergonomics so that they are able to cope with this major contributor to their health issues.
While designing the workplace, workplace environment should be given due importance.
2. work area design
3. Scientific assessments of seats and different items
4. Portable computing can also add comfort to the worker as the faulty placing of the system can give discomfort to neck, shoulder and eyes.
5. There are three steps called as an ergonomic equation. These three steps are Neutral Posture, Voluntary Motion and Restorative Time. In one research it was quoted that it is not the human who have to mold themselves to machine but machine must adapt the human.
6. The Berge and Neumann’s (2010) narrate as how ergonomists can be engaged in making enhanced “organizational work”. It was explored that ergonomist can make a difference in the working culture and positive vibes in the organization.
7. Psychosocial effects that poor ergonomics impact cannot be neglected.It is the mind that feels pain first and then the body recognizes it.Workplace environment should be friendly.
8. Nirjhar Dutta, Gabriel A. Koepp (April, 2012) and team of government official and scholars from Ergotron Inc strongly suggest sit-stand desk which appears promising for longer fitness of body.
9. Susan Tingley (2005), in her study suggested the training programmes which benefitted the office workers.
10. Chairs with adjustable height have shown to reduce the physical complaints to the employees.
Thus the factors of Ergonomics must be recognized in workplace and needful steps must be taken to avoid loss of employee asset
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 Selye, H., 1956. The Stress of Life. New York: McGraw-Hill Co.
 Robbins, S.P., 2001. Organizational Behavior. 9th Edition. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc.
 Shikdar, A.A. and N.M. Sawaqed, 2003. Worker Productivity, and Occupational Health and Safety Issues in Selected Industries. Computers and Industrial Engineering, 45(4): 563-572.
 Bammer, K. and B.H. Newberry, 1982. Stress and Cancer. Toronto: Hogrefe.
 Budd, T. (2001) Violence at Work: New Findings from the 2000 British Crime Survey, Home Office Occasional Paper, London
 Mocci, F., Serra, A. and Corrias, G. A. (2001).Psychological Factors and Visual Fatigue in Working with Video Display Terminals, Occupational and Environmental Medicine 58: 267-271.
 N Mahmud, D T Kenny, R Heard,(2011) Office Ergonomics Awareness and Prevalence of Musculoskeletal
Symptoms among OfficeWorkers in the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia: A Cross-Sectional Study. Malaysian Journal of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Health and Safety at Workplace in Nigeria