Performance of the Company Annual Essay

Pages: 12 (3293 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare

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The importance of ergonomics is worsened by U.S.'s aging workforce as well as the increase in demand for productivity as well as output both of which have translated to the need for longer working hours. Ergonomics has also been indicated to have an impact on the long-term health issues like disability as well as early retirement. It therefore becomes clear that whether the aim is to provide a healthy and safe user working environment or if it is to improve the corporation's bottom line or if it is both, all organizations can reap the benefits that are associated with effective ergonomic practices.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Essay on Performance of the Company Annual Assignment

Ergonomics, which is the science as well as technology of effectively fitting the environment and the activities of individuals to their abilities, needs and dimensions so as to improve performance as well as other health and safety outcomes has become very important to the contemporary organizational environment (Salvendy,2001). The efficiency of the existing cases of human-computer interaction, user's safety, comfort and health outcome can effectively be improved through the application of ergonomic principles (Eason,1991).Eason (1991) developed one of the first classical frameworks for ergonomics and then identified the factors that play an important role in affecting human performance. The factors which he mentioned are task characteristics, environmental factors, user issues as well as human-computer interaction. Certain elements of work like the equipment, worker, task as well as the organization interact in a complex manner whenever work is being performed. There is therefore a need to come up with a research model which contributes all of these variables. A research found out that Workstatiosn should therefore be designed in an ergonomically correct fashion since they hugely affect the working posture and therefore they contribute immensely to physical symptoms (Lu & Aghazadeh,1996).Another work system model / system which comprises components, organization, people, task as well as environment indicates that the objective of a given work system design is to maximize the entire system as opposed to optimizing just a single component (Salvendy,2001). People should always be placed at the main focus. Other factors should therefore be designed to assist the people to work effectively and as comfortable as possible. Research has indicated that most neck and shoulder pain cases are as a result of inappropriate design well as use of the office furniture (Wall et al.,2002). Users should be able to position their heads in a manner that leads to minimal stress to their neck muscles. For computer monitors, the recommended range of viewing angle is 15-30° (Springer,1992).

The position of the Video Display terminal (VDT) in relation to the position of the eyes can have a major influence on the visual strain. The two main VDT parameters are the viewing distance and the height of the visual target (Jaschinski, Heuer, Kylian,1998).

Lighting is the other important environmental factors for all computer workstations. Salvendy (2001) described several types of glare and then went ahead to recommend the best methods of reducing the glare for both the direct and reflected glare. Some of the methods that he proposed are correct positioning of the computer screens, use of the appropriate type of light- focusing diffusers, addition of antiglare filter as well as controlling the source of light. Noise must also be eliminated from the working environment since it can disrupt a persons' ability to concentrate and therefore lead to stress. Salvendy (2001) recommended a series of solutions for the handling of the noise problems in workstations.

Keyboard and mouse were also noted to be sources of ergonomic issues. It is important that an optimum posture be assumed in order to keep the wrist stress free (Springer,1982).The author made recommendations for the use of ergonomic as well as comfortable mouse and keyboard applications. The correct layout for the VDT workstation should also be adopted in the Unite Health Group workplace environments. Sotoyama, Jonai, and Saito (1996) recommended the design of workstations that allows for the adjustment of desk height as well as the setting of VDT closer to the computer keyboard in order to provide a smaller ocular surface area. Apart from the workplace design, it is important to train the workers on ergonomic tips. They should for instance be encouraged to take 15 minute breaks from their workstations after every two hours of work (Salvendy,2001). This work practice must be upheld at all times. Neuffer, Schulze, and Chen (1997) recommended the application of mandatory rest period at the workstations. This is because occupational illnesses like neck, back, arm, shoulders, hand as well as wrist pain are associated with keyboard work, workstation characteristics, increase workload. Work environment, being female and poor psychological work environment (Nelson & Silvestein,1998; Bergqvist,1995).

A plan of action

The company can partner with an Ergonomics company to help it in designing and delivering ergonomic chairs and other office equipment to its offices nationwide. This would have an impact on its overall productivity and lead to a general reduction in the level of expenses. The ergonomics would g along way to reducing loss of employee to resigning or illnesses. The process should be carried out in a manner that does not interfere with the running of the organization. It is important that the company focuses on its key competencies. This means that it must engage a reputable and efficient partner in the solving of its ergonomic problems.

Possible sources of constraints

An analysis of the possible action plan reveals that the main source of constraint are the shareholders and some board members who may argue that embarking on a major activity aimed at the acquisition and training on proper ergonomics would cost so much money. The fact that the expenditure due to acquisition of the correct ergonomics was never a planned one would raise more questions than answers from the shareholders. There would also be a time constraint in regard to the amount of time needed in training staff on ergonomics.

Possible alternatives

In order to take care of the first constraint (resistance to change on grounds of assumed cost effectiveness), the management must take time to educate the shareholders and the board members of the advantages of proper ergonomics in regard to employee turnover and cost savings. They must ensure that they convince the people who might resist the move using real life examples. In regards to time constraints, the organization may use e-lessons and conspicuous posters to teach employees the need for proper ergonomics. Ergonomic chairs must also be acquired in good time. This would need streamlining of the logistics in order to ensure that all the required ergonomic equipment is in the right place at the right time.

References

Amick, B., Robertson, M., Moore, A, DeRango, K and Mendez, CC .The Impact of Two Ergonomic Interventions on Health and Productivity: A Quasi-Experimental Field Study

Amick III, BC, Robertson M, DeRango K, et a (2003) Effect of office ergonomics intervention on reducing musculoskeletal symptoms. Spine 2003;28:2706-2711.

Amick., B., Roberson, M., DeRango, K ., Palacios, N., Rooney, T and Bazzani, L (2002).The Health Consequences of an Office Ergonomics Training Coupled with an Ergonomically Designed Chair: Preliminary Results.Proceedings of the Conference WWDU 2002 World Wide Work - May 22-25, 2002 - Berchtesgaden pg 371-373

Bergqvist U.(1995) Visual display terminal work -- a perspective on long -- term changes and discomforts. Int J. Ind Ergon.;16:201 -- 9.

Cable News Network (2011). 22. UnitedHealth Group

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2011/snapshots/3147.html

DeRango, K .,Amick.,B., Robertson.,M et al. (2002).The Productivity Consequences of Office Ergonomics Training and an Ergonomically Designed Chair.Proceedings of the Conference WWDU 2002 World Wide Work .May 22-25, 2002 - Berchtesgaden pg 368-370

Eason KD (1991)Ergonomic perspectives on advances in human -- computer interaction. Ergonomics.; 34(6):721 -- 41.

FindLaw (2011). Omnicare, Inc. v. UnitedHealth Group, Inc., 09-1152

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/summary/opinion/us-7th-circuit/2011/01/10/253665.html

Glassdoor (2011). UnitedHealth Group Reviews

http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-UnitedHealth-Group-RVW610428.htm

Lu H, Aghazadeh A (1996) Risk factors and their interactions in VDT workstation systems. In: Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 40th Annual Meeting. Santa Monica, CA, USA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society; 1996. p. 637 -- 41.

MacLeod, D.(2006) The Ergonomics Kit for General Industry Taylor & Francis, Second Edition, 2006

McDonald, C (2006). Risk Managers' Dedication To Prevention Keeps Comp Losses In Check. National Underwriter

Nelson NA, Silverstein BA (1998).Workplace changes associated with a reduction in musculoskeletal symptoms in office workers. Hum Factors 40(2):337 -- 50

Neuffer MB, Schulze LJH, Chen J.(1997) Body part discomfort reported by legal secretaries and word processors before and after implementation of mandatory typing break. In: Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 41st Annual Meeting. Santa Monica, CA, USA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society; p. 624 -- 8.

Robertson, M, Amick, B, DeRango.,K et al. (2002).The Impact of an Office Ergonomics Training on Worker Knowledge, Behavior and Musculoskeletal Risk.Proceedings of the Conference WWDU 2002 World Wide Work - May 22-25, 2002 - Berchtesgaden pg 376-378

Remedy Interactive (2011).Ergonomics for Healthcare Environments.

http://www.rsiguard.com/documents/help/ROIAndUserPerception.pdf

Reuters (2011). UnitedHealthcare Ranks Highest in Employer Satisfaction among Self-Insured Commercial Health Plans in J.D. Power and Associates Study… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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