Productivity: Expert task workers on safety at work
Lagos, June 11, 2019 A Consultant Ergonomics Physiotherapist, Dr Chris Okafor, has advised workers to apply ergonomics at the work places to prevent health hazards and increase productivity.
Okafor, who gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos, said that awareness about ergonomics was low in the country.
He said that the poor awareness had led to many workers developing complications including back, neck pains and other musculoskeletal disorders.
According to him, ergonomics is the science that deals with the individual, how he fits into the work environment in relations to his health and productivity at the office.
“Every work an individual does has a bearing on his health and productivity; ergonomics looks at the well being of the worker, vis-à-vis the nature of his office environment.
“For an individual whose nature of work often involves sitting down for a long time, ergonomics emphasises on that individual making every effort to ensure that his sitting is optimal.
“That is, he sits in the right posturing; correct chair that does not make him develop back or neck pain, or challenges that has to do with the muscular system or the bone.
“It affects every aspect of the workforce including drivers, who sit for long periods; engineers, who work on high buildings; pharmacists or nurses who are always on their feet.
“Ergonomics practice is global and tries to correct some of these challenges; however, in Nigeria, the awareness is low,’’ he said.
Okafor also said that there was need to increase the awareness on ergonomics to enable workers understand the importance of their health rather than working to earn salaries.
He urged workers to call on the attention of their employers or management to address their working positioning in order to improve their productivity at work.
“Workers should make basic demands to use good working tools, which if there are none, can lead to health problems like back or neck pain for those whose work involves sitting for long hours.
“Also, those whose work involves standing for long periods need to be protected; those in engineering that involves climbing high buildings need protection as well,’’ he said.
Okafor also called for the inclusion of ergonomics in school curriculums including secondary and higher institutions.
“Most higher institutions do not offer courses in ergonomics; so, many people got to know about it through interactions, but hardly by content of what the curriculum says.
“Also, secondary schools should have some good elementary curriculum of all about ergonomics in their programmes,’’ the consultant said.