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Ergotron Inc Computer Workstation Environment Report

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Executive Summary

The literature in IT industrial ergonomics point out that it is important to provide a contented work environment in order to avoid suffering from wide-ranging musculoskeletal stress disorders (MSDs) linked with the use of IT device such as the computers. Physiological disorders that could be developed because of strained eye, neck, or back fatigue headache as well as emotional stress can be avoided when better ergonometric designs are applied.

This paper will focus on the ergonomic factors that have been put in place by the Ergotron Inc. to improve their computer workstation environment. Ergotron Inc. is a technology firm specializing in the manufacture and use of computers. In fact, a lot have been published on the ergonometric factors that are involved in the improvement of the computer workstation designs.

However, this paper objectively aims at providing reasonable anthropometry information and guiding principles, which could be drawn on in generating apt as well as approved human workplace milieu within such corporations and afar. In other words, the paper, using documented information and the anthropometric data, focuses on various ergonomic factors applied by Ergotron Inc. to make its computer workstations friendly and comfortable to the workers.

Introduction

Ergonomic Factors

In the past fiscal years, various technical research studies focused on the human or ergonomic factors that are incorporated in designing workplaces. In fact, the studies have acknowledged that ergonomic factors must be considered when analyzing and implementing systems safety. Most of these researchers state that human or employees take part in the systems disposal, maintenance, designing, management, operations, as well as procurement. Thus, human factors are correlated to the failures and triumphs of the companies systems. Furthermore, various theoretical frameworks appraising the causes of organizational accidents tend to recognize the central role played by ergonomic factors towards ensuring the safety of systems used by human. For instance, ergonomic factors play decisive roles such as acting as sources, barriers, and contributors to recovery from industrial risks as well as safety incidents (Lowe n.d).

In any corporation, failure to incorporate ergonomic factors in the management of human resources and production processes could cause stress and accidents that might render the company obsolete. This implies that, proper management of human factors ensures that systems are safe for use and can hardly cause loss of life, stress or harm to the company employees.

In fact, ergonomics also dubbed as human factors entails the comprehension of the correlations amid various organizational systems and the employees. This paper aims at analyzing the ergonomic factors in a specific organization. It also offers a proposal on how to make the workplace safer and less physically and psychologically stressful. Secondary anthropometric data will be used in the study while content analysis will be used to analyze gathered data.

Causes of stress in an organization

Several persons undergo stresses that originate from the intrinsic organizational natural surroundings. A number of ergonomic factors that cause stress at work place are specified in several printed writings. However, policies of the organization, absence of control, as well as physical milieu are the only publicized prevalent causes by the cautious scrutiny carried out by the scholars.

The organizational physical surroundings

An exterior surrounding whereas any employee can be existent may denote a physical milieu. In fact, such environs affect the growth and manners of the workforces in an organization. The ergonomic factors that can influence employee development and behavior encompass conditions that are jam-packed, the extent of noise, exposure to air, and the structural constructions within the premises.

Therefore, safety as well as psychological and physical wellbeing of the personnel in an organization requires healthy and clean environment (Alqahtani, 2012). Nevertheless, the organizational stress as well as insecurity of workers’ emotional and physical welfare augments due to unhealthy surroundings.

Conversely, stress and workplace injuries are related to the physical milieu once it fails to bump into the measures of standards at fundamental stages. The scholars assert that insalubrious physical environs results from the pessimistic indicators such as employee thronging and noises.

Labor forces experiences inferior presentation on chores that are cognitive as an outcome of abridged sensation of control for instance. Indeed, the situation is an indicator of employee stress owing to crowding and noise that is exceeds limits. The ultimate results of such human factors in the physical setting of an organization render the employees to possess impaired competence of coping with their duties (Alqahtani, 2012).

Dearth of organizational control

Stress is supreme among the organizational workforces because of the diminutive rheostat over the operations and strategies guiding their work. As such, better-quality performance and condensed stress can be fostered through having good sense in certain types of control. In addition, a part from control of the organization, an individual control is also necessary for the reduction of stress and mandate of safety.

On the contrary, employees might experience antithetical effects from the abiding controls such as career accountabilities (Alqahtani, 2012). Hence, the intrinsic environment in the occupation brings about stress at work place. Stress and insecurity increases since such adverse effects are directly linked to the characteristic of natural surroundings of the work instead of the institution itself.

Policies of the organization

In this context, the guiding principles and comprehensive rubrics for organizational activities are used to delineate the strategy of an organization. The rudimentary principles and goals for carrying out business in the organization can be specified by means of the policies. In point of fact, the executives employ these policies as their principal guides in ensuring quality in the jobs they engage in.

So, strategies can be established from the practice of the previous years or they are implied or printed simply (Antai-Otong, 2001). Thus, policies can generate stress due to poor relational rapport, insufficient perceived appreciation, as well as the ambiguity of the starring role.

A meager social support due to lowly relational rapport diminishes work gratification and thus stress. The manual workers therefore find it necessary to enact sufficient and good relational affiliation for the social backing. In regards to the perceived insufficient preferment, supposed an employee is no longer acknowledged for job elevation they probably undergo circumstances of stress at their work places.

On the other hand, ambiguity in policies augments and causes stress in an organization as an outcome of starring role uncertainty. Congruently, lack of safety at the place of work might also result from the ambiguity of the tasks. All these tresses amount when there are inadequate guidelines of any job an employee is likely to execute as indirectly triggered by organizational policies.

The management of stress in an organization

In the organization’s bid to make the workstation safer and physically or psychologically stress free, an organization can manage or diminish stress by employing more than a solitary tactic. In this perspective, the use of behavioral approach does not underestimate the other tactics like prescription of the anti-anxiety drugs, which is a psychological approach. Before any attempt to manage stress, the organizational executives need to presuppose three elegances of managing stress.

The employees in an organization should further be in readiness for the challenge, commitment, and control for hardihood to be effective. For personal control to help eradicate stress and augment safety, an organization should make self-efficacy and the rheostat locus certain.

Any employees will be capable of enduring the conditions of stress when the locus of control is situated internally. Additionally, a resilient self-efficacy that is the trust in personal aptitude of performing enables the employees to manage stress (Antai-Otong, 2001). Nonetheless, individual workers should mug up exactly on how to animate with stresses if situations are beyond their control.

Case Study: Ergotron Incorporation

Ergotron Inc is amongst various organizations that incorporate ergonomic factors in its strategic plans and daily operations. The system operation and employees management strategies adopted by Ergotron Inc warrant workplace safety and reduced physical and psychological stress among employees. However, there are various challenges encountered by this corporation in an attempt to incorporate ergonomic factors into the organization’s daily operations (Sweere, 2002).

Challenges attached to ergonomic factors

In an attempt to make the workplace system live and operational, Ergotron Inc tends to integrate human factors in all the organization aspects. As an IT organization, the company views that personnel are part of its success and failure.

Thus, when planning to correct, create, or implement new and old procedures as well as policies, Ergotron Inc focuses on the technical and social components also called ergonomic factors that may generate stress and insecurity to the employees (Lowe n.d). Some of the possible ergonomics challenges the company faces include:

  • The practical integration amid stress, safety systems, and ergonomic factors poses challenge given that Ergotron Inc systems are concerned with the incorporation of various safety and stress management functions that are consistent in the entire company.
  • In all the production and functional operations, Ergotron Inc utilizes possibly the excellent technical ergonomics frameworks to ensure that the processes undertaken run smoothly. Thus, the company encounters structural challenges when implementing ergonomic factors.
  • Challenges emerge from the operational factors such as considering “the employees issues” including the associations and contacts, which establish the final results emerging from the assumed or implemented procedures and processes

Ergonomic factors at Ergotron Inc

Ergotron Inc can be compared to a computer workstation given that most productions require the incorporation of the ergonomic factors to reduce both physical and psychological stress as well as make the workplaces safer. The ergonomic factors that must be incorporated in the daily operations include:

  • Space saving and accessibility to the components
  • Ease of adjustability and task lighting
  • Wrists and foot rests
  • Proper designs of chair and adjustable work surface
  • Adjustable Visual Display Technology (VDT)

Incorporating all the above mentioned production factors into Ergotron Inc daily operations is a daunting task. However, the issues must be properly addressed by the company to eliminate or reduce various classes of physical as well as psychological stress and disorders related the poor designs and improper integration of the ergonomic factors at workplace.

In case the company fails to deal with such factors, chances that workplace could be stressful and unsafe are high. In fact, poor integration of the ergonomic factors in the company operational plans brings about musculoskeletal stress disorders that cause:

  • Synovitis, tendonitis, and tenosynovitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Diseases related to the shoulders, elbow, hands, and wrists
  • Headache and fatigue among employees
  • Back, neck, and eyes strains

At Ergotron Inc, there are various major causes of such strains and visual problems that the company has been addressing from time to time. For instance, the Ergotron Inc workplace seemed stressful and rather unsafe for the employees due to:

  • The inability to regulate the VDT screens stature to the levels preferred by each employee
  • Poor positioning of the vertical keyboards including tilt, aft, and fore
  • The angles for viewing the VDT’s were improper and could not be adjusted by the employees to suit their requisite viewing angles particularly the big computer monitors
  • The incapacity to alter the inappropriate Video Display Technology

Proposal: Making Ergotron Inc workplace safer and less psychologically and physically stressful

Expanding the workplace environment

The networking expertise has recently advanced making all operators and companies like Ergotron Inc to integrate workstation in all operations including appropriate locations and applications. In fact, desktops are hardly believed to be just focal points for the designers of ergonomic workplace or corporate ergonomics.

Mainframes found at Ergotron Inc hospital rooms, warehouses, and factory floors appear to be a few instances of non-workplace PCs that emerged prevalent over the past years. Most of the current workplace applications call for diverse ergonomic appliance interfaces different from the customary seated counter display that study literatures have published.

In a company like Ergotron Inc, fresh operational ranks namely session and footholds ought to be integrated alongside various mainframe constituents increasing preferences for instance portable appliances, floorboards, maximum, and partition mounts. While considering such applications, constituent adjustability appears to be somehow imperative compared to Ergotron Inc workplace milieu.

The applications may allow different employees to run similar machine during different as well as similar work-shifts (Sweere, 2002). The desktop workplace cannot allow such functioning since it becomes fixed immediately the appliances are incorporated for specific operators.

Excellent design standards for the ergonomic factors should be used in all cases to allow the employees to have the optimal machine-operator boundary along with the requisite adjustability that could avert workplace injuries and minimize workforce discomforts. The specific VDM know-how meant to be drawn on in such occupation milieus could be utilized in the PC cases so as to secure room and proffer adjusting conditions for the human parameters.

The Novel Display Technology (VDT)

The invention of the VDT provided novel avenues for incorporating ergonomics into corporate operations and improving various work milieus. The VDTs are light in weight and small in size thus allowing for the growth and progression of novel mounting resolutions which might effortlessly deal with adulthood setbacks including screen tilt-ability, distances, and elevation adjustability.

The VDT offer special ergonomic devices including vertical adjustability, stand-sit appliances, comfortable bifocal viewing users, and screen distance adjustability of about 95.0% and 5.0% for male and female users respectively (Sweere, 2002).

Screen height

When feasible, Ergotron Inc VDT heights ought to be adjustable in order to allow for the individuals employees preferences working during the day and night shifts. The VDT monitors should be elevated somewhat below 1.0” to 2.0” of the operators’ eyes stature. This applies whether the operators are standing or sitting in order for the Ergotron Inc employees to be in relaxed and comfortable positions.

Screen tilts

The Ergotron Inc screens should be tilt-able ranging from 12.0 degrees to 20.0 degrees dependent on the VDT dimension. However, particular care ought to be observed for the minimization of VDT glares. Tilting upwards should provide for optimal screening given that it offers for a dependable central span whenever examining from the VDT bottom to top.

The distance of VDT from the users

Ergotron Inc management should ensure that the VDTs are distantly positioned from the users founded on each employee’s capacity to comprehend information offered on the VDTs. The span of focus for various employees are 30” and above. Based on ergonomic standards, the space for observing the VDTs should range from 18.0” to 28.0”.

The location and elevation of the PC keyboard

At Ergotron Inc stockroom, office, and clinics, the PC handles used ought to be tactically situated to let the employees hold the gadgets with fingers inclined a bit descending while forearms remaining planed. The angle of tilting should range from 90.0 degrees to 110.0 degrees amid the lower and upper arms.

Recommendations

The ergonomic factors found in an organization are many and their management requires proper planning and implementation. Based on study literature, in order to warrant that workplace is safe, an organization must first ensure that all safety management systems are operationally improved.

However, to realize this, the organization systems must be developed from the perspective and better comprehension of the ergonomic factors (Spector, 2006). For instance, the organizational systems must be made amenable to all the perspectives of the ergonomic factors. Thereafter, the ergonomics perspectives should then be adopted or constructed into an operational framework.

Workplace can be stress free and safe only if the organization model integrates the following activities:

  • The safety and workplace systems must be changed or adjusted to accomplish the novel requirements and budding challenges
  • The management should put in place mechanisms that provide feedbacks to the employees using the organization systems
  • The human resource managers should regularly respond to and manage the organization safety systems. These may incorporate:
  • The investigation and response to the occurrence of safety breaches
  • The managers should survey the ergonomic safety indicators when the employees assume their normal operations
  • The organization management ought to maintain all safety management actions during daily functions (Spector, 2006). At this point, the human resource managers should the following decisive sub-responsibilities:
  • The introduction of new changes geared towards controlling and eliminating any risks caused via the hazards already identified
  • The appraisal of the effects of the organizational risks with respect to the acceptable safety level
  • The identification of the organization hazards
  • The organization should plan and organize all changes supporting the ergonomics safety and stress management operations
  • The company must also write, create, maintain or update the corporation’s safety and stress management standards and policies

Conclusion

The ergonomics include both the social and technological aspects of an organization. For example, any organization system entails the physical or technical aspects namely the software and hardware alongside their correlations as well as social components such as the interactions amid groups and individuals.

To ensure that such organizational ergonomic components warrant safety at workplace and reduce incidences of employees stress, the human resource managers must make certain that the technical, cultural, and social dimensions are incorporated in the daily organization operations and management. That is, all the artifacts and tools like documentations, databases, information sources, and procedures used by employees when discharging their duties must support safety measures.

Works Cited

Alqahtani, Ayedh. “Organizational Stress: Causes and Management.” International Journal of Innovation in Business, 1.1(2012): 1-11. Print.

Antai-Otong, David. “Creative Stress Management Techniques for Self-Renewal.” Dermatology Nursing, 13.2(2001): 31-39. Print.

Lowe, Christopher. A Human Factors Perspective on Safety Management Systems. Bristol, UK, n.d. Print.

Spector, Paul. “Perceived Control by Employees, a Meta-Analysis of Studies Concerning Autonomy and Participation at Work.” Human Relations, 39.11 (2006): 1005-1016. Print.

Sweere, Harry. “Ergonomic Factors Involved In Optimum Computer Workstation Design: A Pragmatic Approach.” Constant Force Technology, 2002: 1-14. Print.

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IvyPanda. "Ergotron Inc Computer Workstation Environment." August 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/causes-of-workplace-safety-and-health-management-role-in-ohs-issues-2/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Ergotron Inc Computer Workstation Environment." August 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/causes-of-workplace-safety-and-health-management-role-in-ohs-issues-2/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Ergotron Inc Computer Workstation Environment'. 20 August.

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