Fire Safety in the Workplace


You probably remember practicing fire drills in school but as you move into the workplace other measures can be taken to avoid accidents. For instance, there are standards put in place by Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) that outline the basics of fire safety including the causes of workplace fires, prevention practices and guidelines for evacuation.

However, according to Statistics Canada there were 247 business use/personal service fires in 2014 that cost companies millions of dollars in damages! It’s clear that there are preventative practices in place but there is no hiding the fact that unforeseen fires in the workplace can be extremely dangerous. Therefore, we have outlined four ways you can keep your workplace safe:

Accessibility

It is important to keep workplaces neat and tidy to ensure that there is full accessibility to sprinklers, firefighting equipment and emergency exits. Moreover, equipment and other materials should be properly stored and ready for use in the case of an emergency.

Precautions

It is vital to follow all recommended and required precautions to prepare for ignition in potentially explosive atmospheres. These precautions include evacuation plans, semi-annual fire safety training and proper signage. Implementing safer practices such as the use of non-sparking tools and proper static electricity control will help prevent workplace incidents!

Safe Handling

Safe handling practices are fundamental when it comes to workplace fire safety. Always read the label and the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to assess flammability and other fire hazards of substances.

It is also imperative that employees have the proper protective equipment for handling hazardous materials, access to proper waste disposal and report hazards that occur. 

Don’t forget to follow the operating procedures and established safety protocols that are in place!

Maintenance

All in all these three steps will get your establishment in the right direction for fire prevention safety, but in the long run it is essential to maintain these procedures. Check and perform maintenance on machines/tasks regularly and keep a record of this routine maintenance. In essence, following these four steps will ensure effective results in fire safety!

Workstation Ergonomics: How to Set Up a Healthy Desk


By now, you know that poor office posture can lead to repetitive stress injuries and overall health issues. But you might still be wondering how exactly to correct the problem. Here, you’ll find a handy guide to help you adjust your way to workplace health.

Bends

When adjusting your monitor, chair and desk, the right angle in your best friend. For example, your knees should be bent at ninety degrees, with your thighs resting comfortably and your feet planted on the floor.

The right angle is also what you’re aiming for with mouse and keyboard adjustment. Your upper arms should rest comfortably at your sides, with your elbows bending at ninety degrees. From there, your forearms rest on the desk, never over-reaching for the mouse or keyboard. If in order to reach your keyboard, you need to move your upper arm away from your side, it’s too far. Bring the keyboard and mouse closer.

hand-wrist-posture

The final right angle to look for is in your torso. When you sit, do your hips stack directly under your shoulders and neck? If you’re slouching or leaning forward, the chair could be to blame. Look for something that supports your low and upper back. That way, you can lean comfortably into your chair while maintaining an upright posture.

Heights

To get started, your chair height should be equal to the length of your calves, allowing your knees to bend at ninety degrees.

The height of your desk should allow your arms to access the mouse and keyboard at a ninety degree angle whether sitting or standing, so what does that look like?

For a sitting desk, look for something with a height around your pelvic region.

sitting-posture

For a standing desk, you’ll want something that tops out around your naval.

sit-stand-setup

Monitor height is a crucial part of our muscular well-being, but so many people get it wrong. The top of your screen should align with your mouth area, and angle upward at about 30 to 40 degrees. This will allow your neck to stay upright, with your chin slightly tucked.

A proper monitor can be especially tricky to visualize, since it’s such a far-cry from how most of us use our computers. For a great visual aid and measurements customized to your body type, check out Computing Comfort.

Treadmill Desks? See What the Buzz is All About


We’ve been discussing the impacts of prolonged sitting at work for some time now. While sit & stand desks and desk accessories have become imperative to helping people balance out their daily sit & stand routine, treadmill desks are not as popular but they are a viable option for those seeking to take their activity at the office to the next level.

Treadmill Desk Buzz

Here are some of the benefits of using a treadmill, according to a LifeSpan article:

Improves Mood & Reduces Stress

Exercise is a great way to release stress, whether work or non work related. Physical activity triggers our body to release endorphins which help us get into a positive mood. It can also help to reach your fitness goals since we spend majority of our day at work!

Fuels Creativity

A study conducted by Standford University; volunteers completed tasks while sedentary and while walking on a treadmill at a slow pace. On average, the volunteers using a treadmill were able to come up with 60% more different uses for their tasks compared to sitting. Creativity & exercise all in one!

Productivity Boost

Another study was done by University of Minnesota that indicated an increase in productivity and health for treadmill desk users. While there may be perceptions of the ability to walk a treadmill and focus could be difficult, this study suggests otherwise.

Promotes a Healthy Body

The “no brainer” here – walking helps us burn calories and stay in shape. So instead of waiting for the lunch break or the evening to take a stroll, you could get your steps in while working!

Lowers Blood Pressure

Walking (even at a light pace) helps increase blood flow which helps lower blood pressure. This is a huge health benefit for anyone suffering (or looking to prevent) high blood pressure.

Below you will find a response to a LifeSpan survey showing what type of improvement people saw by using the treadmill desk on an average of less than two hours a day:

Treadmill Desks Survey

Source: LifeSpan

There are even actual reviews of first experiences, like the one below:

The research and early adopters seem to be fairly satisfied with using a treadmill desk. Is this something that your workplace is considering for some of its employees? Would you consider walking at your desk?