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Archive for the ‘Healthy Practices’ Category

The Importance Of Ergonomics In The Workplace

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White computer mouse and hand on whiteNot every job in the world requires laborious use of the hands. Not every job entails a great deal of heavy lifting, lugging and carrying. But that doesn’t mean that jobs void of these tiring tasks aren’t hard on the body. Office workers experience their fair share of job-related injuries as well. You may be surprised just how taxing it can be on the body to sit at a desk in front of a computer all day long.

This is why ergonomics is so vital to any working environment. Ergonomics, which is the study of people’s efficiency in the workplace, is an important element when considering the health and safety of people at work. And, as Cynthia Roth points out on EHSToday.com, office environments are known for their ergonomic-related injuries and illnesses. Believe it or not, typing isn’t exactly the safest job-related task in the world!

“If an employee is able to type 40 words per minute, he or she presses 12,000 keys per 8-hour day,” she explains, “Approximately 8 ounces of force is necessary to depress one key. Almost 16 tons of force will be exercised by his or her fingers each day. The fingers of typists whose speed is 60 words per minute exert up to 25 tons of pressure each day.” So what does all of this mean? How does the pressure exerted by typists affect their health?

According to Roth, back pain is considered the most common side effect of daily sitting and typing. But studies have shown that “the office workplace has other musculoskeletal disorders, including carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, tenosynovitis and myositis.” She writes that “more than 8 million people are affected by carpal tunnel syndrome each year. Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome is the second-most common type of musculoskeletal surgery.”

A focus on ergonomics can help present better working conditions in an effort to avoid such physical hardships. Roth notes that it’s important to reduce the physical demands of jobs by decreasing levels of force, repetition and awkward postures. “Job descriptions are necessary to understand how tasks impact the worker: which body part is used, whether right or left side, cycle times, weights, reaches, etc.” she writes.

The benefits to implementing strong workplace ergonomics are many. On Ergo-Plus.com, Mark Middlesworth explains that ergonomics can help to reduce costs, improve productivity and boost the quality of the work being done. “Poor ergonomics leads to frustrated and fatigued workers that don’t do their best work,” he writes, “When the job task is too physically taxing on the worker, they may not perform their job like they were trained.”

A focus on ergonomics in the workplace is also excellent for employee morale. It should go without saying that it’s important to have a staff made up for happy and enthusiastic people. It’s good for any company’s bottom line. “If an employee does not experience fatigue and discomfort during their workday, it can reduce turnover, decrease absenteeism, improve morale and increase employee involvement,” says Middlesworth.

At Independence Incorporated, we offer Ergonomic Assessments that carefully consider the relationships between workers and their work environments. Our assessments involve the creation of matches between employees and their activities, equipment and systems to maximize both productivity and health-focused circumstances. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call Independence Incorporated at 204-478-6644 or email info@indep.ca.

6 Ways To Promote Health In The Workplace

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Smiling medical doctor woman with appleIt’s not easy running a business. You have a lot on your plate on a daily basis. And one of the most important daily tasks you have is ensuring the health and safety of all those who work for you. Without a staff that is comprised of positive-minded, well-rested, energetic members, your company is bound to endure some hardships. And, of course, the last thing you want is to have any of your employees endure an illness or injury.

It would especially be unfortunate and detrimental to your company if your employees become ill or injured while on the job. So while motivating your team members towards productive work days is always a necessity, it is equally important to keep in mind that you should be promoting health and wellness on the job. That way, you can ensure a strong and productive team that is happy to work for you.

Here are six ways to promote health in the workplace:

1. Advocate exercise. One of the most popular excuses that people give for their lack of exercise is that they have no time. By offering facilities at your place of business, you give people reasons to lose that excuse. On Inc.com, Lauren Lastowka offers up an alternative to providing gyms and showers, if doing so isn’t possible. “Implement and promote a lunch hour walking club and offer incentives for employees who participate,” she suggests.

2. Encourage better nutrition. Do you have vending machines at your place of work that include an array of chocolate bars and potato chips? If so, lose them. Food that promotes poor health is not doing your company any favours. Not only should you offer healthy options at your cafeteria but according to Dr. Jeffrey Brown in a special to Financial Post, you should “offer incentives for reaching health and weight goals.”

3. Find ways to minimize stress. Stress is bound to occur on any job. But the less of it you’re able to put on your employees, the better they’ll be able to perform their duties. “Unmanaged stress has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleep trouble,” reminds Lastowka, “At the workplace, it can lead to inefficiency, job dissatisfaction, and absence from work for related health conditions.”

4. Make drinking water available. If you don’t have water fountains set up at your place of work, bring in water coolers. The importance of staying hydrated cannot be understated. Dr. Brown insists that you “educate staff to stay hydrated by drinking 8 oz. of water each working hour. Discourage caffeine, sodas and energy drinks in the office. Provide clean-filtered water. I recommend reverse-osmosis filters, which are cheap and effective.”

5. Have a doctor make “work calls”. You’ve heard of “house calls” before, right? Why not implement a similar practice at your office? “One of the most innovative trends in workplace wellness has been that of the office doctor’s office,” informs Lastowka, “On-site health clinics give employees the opportunity to schedule office visits for routine care without taking time off work. And they seem to be successful.”

6. Open up the windows. There are few things worse than a dank, congested and musty workplace. Be sure to let in fresh air and sunlight to brighten up the moods of everyone on your team. “Sunlight refreshes us, triggers are feel good chemicals, strengthens our joints and bones, and helps our immune system,” says Dr. Brown, who goes on to mention that “Sick Building Syndrome is an increasing cause of illness and lawsuits.”

6 Steps To Creating The Perfect Cover Letter

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Cover Letter Word Cloud Concept with great terms such as interview, resume, summary and more.It’s always important to make a good first impression. And, most often, when you are looking to secure a new job opportunity, your cover letter to your resume represents your first impression. It’s a good idea to remember that your hiring manager is looking to find out more about you, not just what you’re capable of doing on the job. So creating a cover letter that is as personable as it is professional is a wise choice.

Of course, writing a cover letter can be considered a tough task if you haven’t done one in a while. This is especially true for those who have experienced long layoffs from work due to illnesses or injuries. For more information about Independence Incorporated’s Resume Preparation services that assist with both resume development and appropriate cover letter creation, please don’t hesitate to call us at 204-478-6644 or email info@indep.ca.

Here are six steps to creating the perfect cover letter:

1. Address the hiring manager directly. Showing that you’ve done your research about the company you are applying to demonstrates your attention to detail and your dedication to securing the job. Be sure to find out the hiring manager’s name in order to properly address that person in your letter. “If this person’s name isn’t in the job listing, take the extra effort to call or email the company and find out,” suggests Vivian Giang on BusinessInsider.com.

2. Get to the point. Telling your life story isn’t necessary. Your best bet is covering all of the necessary details that relate to the reason you are applying for the job. On Monster.com, Caroline M.L. Potter recommends that you also include where you saw the ad for the position and who recommended you to apply for it. Keep in mind that recruiters have many cover letters to read. Cutting to the chase will help you to gain favour.

3. Don’t go overboard. Remember that the purpose of your cover letter is to pinpoint reasons why you should be considered for the job. It is your personal request for consideration. So you don’t need to go over the details that are already listed on your resume. “It’s a professional document, so don’t go too over-the-top,” reminds Giang, “Yes, trying to figure out ways to be creative may be difficult, but don’t go overboard out of desperation.”

4. Be complimentary. Naturally, your cover letter should endear its reader to you. But you’ll also want to include reasons why you’re interested in the company you’re applying to work for. “Compliment the organization on what they have done right and what you admire about them,” advises Potter. That way, you will prove that you’ve taken the time to look into and get to know the company.

5. Stick to the “one page rule”. You don’t need to make your cover letter any longer than one page. To reiterate, its intent is not to tell your life story. Sticking to the important facts and highlighting your strengths are what is necessary. “Your cover letter is an introduction to yourself,” says Giang, “It’s supposed to show that you have strong communication skills. Be brief and concise.”

6. Include a call to action. Of course, you can assume that your hiring manager wants to meet you in person. But, it’s best that you state your intention of doing so. Potter advises that you express your enthusiasm for the job position and the interview. Giang agrees that you should be proactive. “Tell the reader what you’re planning on doing next — for example, calling in a week or two to follow up,” she advises.

Good luck!