South Africa has for a long time endorsed human rights and constitutional rights, the general well-being of its populace has always been a priority; therefore the implementation of Ergonomics regulations is on par with the status of the country. The purpose of these regulations is to establish programmes that will manage physical and cognitive ergonomics in the workplace, ensuring comfortable working conditions for employees.
Why ergonomics is beneficial for both employer and employee
In general, people are more receptive to positivity; it is inclination to be more productive under “happier” conditions. A few countries who have implemented Ergonomics are actual substantiation of this. Vancouver, for example, has implemented ergonomics as part of their labour regulations and has since reported a reduced number of cases of long-term illnesses, extended leave, and injuries.
“One of the benefits of completing an ergonomic audit and integrating ergonomics into your workplace is the improvement of employee engagement through the design of tasks and tools around people rather than the other way around.” Oriole Consulting
The proposed regulations will be rewarding to both employee and employer, a comfortable employee is a productive employee. According to ergo-plus.com , ergonomics in the workplace are most likely to improve productivity and quality, workers who do not have any anxiety in their working conditions are most likely to focus on their role within a company and how best to accomplish it.
“Ergonomics removes barriers to quality, productivity, and safe human performance in human-machine systems by fitting products, equipment, tools, systems, tasks, jobs, and environments to people.” ErgoWeb Inc
An unhealthy and unsafe environment is a liability, employees are more likely to get sick or injured. Such situations are the main cause of employee absenteeism. Ergonomics encourages a healthy and safe environment. When workers are sickly they are more likely to miss work thus affecting the amount and quality of labour rendered. A fitting environment will minimise the number of accidents and illnesses suffered by employees in the workplace. Avoiding injuries and illnesses can, in turn, save a company hefty amounts of money.
Call for public participation
The department of labour has since released a draft of the new ergonomics regulations and has encouraged all industries to comment on the regulations that will work for them and their employees. In order for these regulations to be implemented, full participation from the public is essential. This government initiative is beneficial to businesses and employees and should be endorsed.