Consider employees’ personalities when creating workspaces, researchers say

Original article published by Safety+Health

 Open bench seating                                                    Cubicle                                                                                 Private office                                                                                 

Tucson, AZ — Are you at your happiest and most productive in a private workstation? Or does sharing an open space with your colleagues sound better?

Researchers at the University of Arizona; California State University, East Bay; and the General Services Administration recommend employers take individual workers’ personalities into account as part of “an employee-centered approach” to workspace design.

The researchers examined data from GSA’s Wellbuilt for Wellbeing research project, studying more than 270 adult office workers in four federal buildings. The workers wore health-tracking sensors and answered questions sent to their smartphones that assessed their feelings at given moments.

Findings show that the workers who identified as more extroverted, or seeking social interaction, showed greater happiness and focus in offices with more open seating arrangements. Meanwhile, workers who were more introverted were more happy and focused in more private spaces.

“Our work illuminates the importance of considering both the individual’s personality and their environment in predicting important behavioral and mood outcomes, such as how happy a person is and how well a person is able to work,” Matthias Mehl, senior study author and professor in the UA Department of Psychology, said in a press release.

The researchers suggest that the approach may be sustainable as employees and job-seekers continue their call for workplaces with greater flexibility.

The study was published online in the Journal of Research and Personality.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Do you spend a lot of time on your feet?

Original article published by Safety + Health

Photo property of CDC

Jobs that require frequent standing can lead to a number of health-related problems, including sore feet, leg swelling, muscle fatigue, low back pain, and stiffness in the neck and shoulders.

One possible fix for some workstations? Make them adjustable. “Being able to adjust the working height is particularly important to match the workstation to the worker’s individual body size and to the worker’s particular task,” the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety says. “If the workstation cannot be adjusted, platforms to raise the shorter worker or pedestals on top of workstations for the tall worker should be considered.”

Other tips to reduce the negative effects of standing work:

  • Change working positions often.
  • Avoid extreme bending, stretching and twisting.
  • Give workers breaks to relax.
  • Organize work so materials are within easy reach.
  • Use a foot rail or portable footrest to shift body weight from both legs to one or the other.
  • Avoid reaching above or behind the shoulder line. Instead, shift feet to face the object.
  • Don’t reach beyond the point of comfort.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Conducting self-inspections: Two methods

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Inspections are an important part of any workplace safety and health management system. Described in a video from the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Division of Labor and Industry as the practice of “identifying unsafe conditions through observations and testing of the work environment,” inspections can cover housekeeping, emergency alarms, electrical hazards, machine guarding and chemical hazards.

One method is a daily informal inspection. The video offers an example: An employee can start their workday by inspecting their work area for slip, trip or fall hazards. “A supervisor or manager may then follow up with the employee regarding what was found.”

A formal inspection is another method. This type of inspection could be conducted weekly, monthly or quarterly. What makes it “formal”? It should be performed by experts who are knowledgeable in the subject matter and have the ability to recognize unsafe conditions. Inspecting complex machinery, for example, should always be conducted as a formal inspection, Maryland DLI says.

Once an inspection is completed, “an authorized individual should ensure corrections are made in a timely manner.” If a long-term solution is needed, Maryland DLI recommends putting interim controls in place. If an issue is severe, workers should be removed depending on the level of severity.

To help increase accountability and worker trust in your safety and health management program, share findings from inspections via bulletin boards in common areas and during safety meetings, or by sending emails or texts.

McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.