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Promoting Safety and Health in the Workplace

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Title: Promoting Safety and Health in the Workplace


1
PromotingSafety and Healthin the Workplace
  • - CONTACT CENTER -

Occupational Safety and Health Center Department
of Labor and Employment
2
Occupational Safety and Health
  • encompasses the social, mental and physical
    well-being of workers, that is the whole person

3
Lesson 1.
  • Learn from the past and prepare for a better
    future

4
The World of Work then
"a foul and poisonous dust that flies out from
these materials, enters the mouth, then the
throat and lungs, makes the workmen cough
incessantly, and by degrees brings on asthmatic
troubles."
"in whom he found heaps of sand that in running
the knife through the pulmonary vesicles he
thought he was cutting through some sandy body."
5
Bernardini RamazziniFather of Occupational
Medicine
1713 Published De Morbis Artificum (Diseases
of Workers)
6
Paracelsus (1493-1541)Father of Modern Toxicology
Areolus Phillipus Theophrastus Bombastus von
Hohenheim "All substances are poisons there is
none which is not a poison. The right DOSE
differentiates a poison from a remedy."
7
Lesson 2.
  • Know the conditions of work and workplace

8
Occupational and Work-Related Diseases and
Injuries
  • History of exposure to hazardous workplace
    factors becomes indispensable in determining
    whether an illness is because of workplace
    factors or not.

9
Types of Hazards
Chemical hazards
Physical hazards
Ergonomic stresses
Biologic hazards
10
Types of Hazards
Chemical hazards
  • Formaldehyde
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Cleaning Agents

11
Types of Hazards
Physical hazards
  • Poor office lighting
  • Noise
  • Dry air
  • Air currents

12
Types of Hazards
  • Pollens, allergens and dusts
  • People, plants, mites, pests
  • Condensed water in air conditioners, clogged
    drains, etc.

Biologic hazards
13
Types of Hazards
  • Limited workspace
  • Simplified work
  • Repetitive task
  • Shiftwork (esp. nightwork)
  • Mental and physical workload

Ergonomic stresses
14
Lesson 3.
  • Mere exposure to hazard does not cause harm to
    safety or health

15
Important to characterize exposure
  • Hazards in the workplace can cause harm if there
    is undue exposure such as through elevated
    workplace concentration without proper control
    measures.

16
Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs)
  • development requires weeks, months or years of
    exposure to ergonomic risk factors
  • Repetitive exertions
  • Posture stresses (including static posture)
  • Forceful exertions
  • Contact stresses
  • Job design
  • Work organization
  • Workstation dimension

17
Lesson 4.
  • Take active part in keeping yourself safe and
    healthy.

18
Diseases of Workers
  • Many diseases of occupational cause are
    multifactorial,with non-occupational factors
    playing a role.
  • Personal characteristics, other environmental and
    socio-cultural factors usually play a role as
    risk factors for these diseases.

19
Total Health Promotion
  • Smoking cessation
  • Physical activity
  • Nutrition
  • Weight reduction
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Drug Abuse Prevention
  • TB Prevention and Control

20
Lesson 5.
  • Prevention is better than treatment

21
  • HARMFUL EXPOSURES
  • EARLY IN WORKING LIFE
  • MODIFY NORMAL COURSE OF
  • PHYSIOLOGICAL CHANGES
  • DUE TO AGEING ALONE

22
Hearing loss comes with ageing
  • But hearing loss
  • can occur much earlier
  • due to occupational exposure

23
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
24
Loss of muscle strength comes with ageing
  • But muscle strength can be diminished even in
    young persons

25
Occupational Safety and Health is Prevention
  • Many occupational conditions are IRREVERSIBLE
  • Occupational conditions are PREVENTABLE

26
ENSURING WORKER WELL-BEING
  • The choice of a starting age for attention
    should be selected as young enough that
    intervention efforts can be expected to make a
    difference during the working life.
  • Committee on the Health and Safety Needs of Older
    Workers National Research Council and Institute
    of Medicine

27
Occupational Safety and Health ConditionsContact
Centers
28
Occupational Safety and Health in Call
Centers(Secondary Data)
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Linked to poorly designed workstations (Hoekstra
    et. al. 1995).
  • Associated with longer shift duration (Ferreira M
    and Saldiva PH, 2002)
  • Long uninterrupted hours of work with the
    computer
  • Invariable and sedentary work (Norman K et. al.
    2001)
  • Low job satisfaction (Most IG, 1999)

29
Occupational Safety and Health in Call Centers
(Secondary Data)
  • Voice disorders
  • Intensive verbal interaction with clients one of
    the contributing factors (Jones K et. al., 2002)
  • Eyestrain
  • Poor lighting conditions and intensive computer
    use (Putnam C et. al., 2000)

30
Occupational Safety and Health in Call Centers
(Secondary Data)
  • Problems due to psychosocial and work
    organization stressors (Putnam C et. al., 2000)
  • Increased reporting of health disorders
  • Negative work attitude (boredom, job
    dissatisfaction, anger, etc.)

31
Occupational Safety and Health in Call
Centers(Secondary Data)
  • Concern over potential hearing problems (Patel J
    and Broughton K, 2002)
  • Exposure to high intensity sound coming from the
    headsets
  • high sound levels in the room from the
    simultaneous talking of the employees

32
Occupational Safety and Health Conditions
  • Contact Centers in the Philippines

33
Methods
  • Case study of 5 call centers
  • Purposively selected employees from one (1)
    company
  • Questionnaire to collect data about personal
    circumstances, occupational profile, medical and
    psychosocial conditions
  • Company profile
  • Data will be collected regarding the organization
    in terms of size, tasks, type of clients, work
    organization, working hours, etc. Information on
    incentive system will also be gathered.

34
Results
  • 5 call centers
  • Varying tasks of operators
  • 1 call center with only interactive computer task
    (internet online communication)
  • 4 call centers both voice and computer

35
Results
A B C D E
Year Established 1998 2002 2000 1999 1999
Task Intensive interactive computer work (chatting) Voice and computer Voice and computer Voice and computer Voice and computer
Nature of business Customer assistance Telemarketing, outbound Telemarketing (outbound) and customer care services (inbound) Telemarketing, mostly outbound Telemarketing, inbound
Gender Equal proportion of male and female Equal proportion of male and female 70 female 80 female 75 female
Age of operators 20 - 25 20 - 20 - 35 20 - 25 20 - 25
36
Results
Hazards Identified A B C D E
Working Posture Rapid and repetitive keying, prolonged sitting, static exertions of neck, torso, elbow freedom of movement (sit, stand, walk about) Prolonged sitting, twisting of upper body and neck to view monitor Prolonged sitting, twisting of upper body and neck to view monitor Prolonged sitting, twisting of upper body and neck to view monitor
37
Results
Working Posture of Call Center Agents Company E
(n55)
PARAMETERS Frequency of Extreme Posture Observed
Eye position 39 agents with upward gaze
Upper arm position Raised upper arms and elevated shoulders in 43 agents
Lower arm position Elbow flexed in 28 agents
Wrist/Hand position Wrist flexed in 4 agents Wrist extended in 38 agents
Neck position Extremely flexed in 5 agents Erect position in 50 agents
Trunk position 38 agents leaning forward
38
Frequency of eye symptoms among call center
agents (n73)
Eye symptoms With symptom/s in the last 7 days With symptom/s in the last 6 months
Smarting 22 (29) 35 (47)
Gritty 4 (5) 8 (11)
Itchiness 13 (17) 24 (32)
Eye pain 15 (20) 25 (33)
Redness 16 (21) 29 (39)
Tearing 10 (13) 21 (28)
Dryness 9 (12) 15 (20)
Sensitivity to light 15 (20) 31 (41)
39
Frequency of musculoskeletal symptoms among call
center agents (n72)
Musculoskeletal symptoms With symptom/s in the last 7 days With symptom/s in the last 6 months
Neck 4 (6) 36 (50)
Shoulder 2 (2) 22 (30)
Elbow - 2 (2)
Wrist - 10 (14)
Upper back 4 (5) 41 (57)
Low back 3 (4) 33 (46)
Hips or thigh 1 (1) 11 (15)
Knee - 5 (7)
Ankle or feet - 7 (10)
40
Frequency of hearing and voice disorders among
call center agents (n73)
Hearing and Voice disorders With symptom/s in the last 7 days With symptom/s in the last 6 months
Ear pain - 12 (16)
Ringing in the ear - 9 (12)
Need to raise voice when talking 1 (1) 15 (20)
Hoarseness 1 (1) 35 (48)
Tiredness or weakness of voice 3 (4) 53 (73)
Exerting more effort to talk 2 (2) 37 (51)
Cracking of voice 3 (4) 30 (40)
Choking sensation 2 (2) 20 (27)
Burning sensation in throat - 17 (23)
Dry throat 1 (1) 52 (71)
Complete loss of voice 1 (1) 4 (5)
41
Lesson 6.
  • Proactive measures are better than reactive
    efforts

42
Work Elements and associated Risk factors of
voice disorders
Work Environment Job Design/ Organization Individual/ Psychosocial Factors
High intensity of background noise Poor room acoustic Low temperature and humidity Poor workplace air causing irritation Prolonged heavy use of voice Fast paced work brought about by automated call routing or dialing system Repetitive reading from long scripts Lack of or inadequate breaks Habit of speaking loudly Smoking Frequent intake of caffeinated beverages Infrequent hydration Infections involving the throat Intake of throat drying medications
43
Work Elements and associated Risk factors of
hearing disorders
Work Environment Job Design/ Organization Individual/ Psychosocial Factors
High intensity background noise Noise from headsets Poor room acoustic Long duration of work Infrequent breaks Inadequate number of headsets Poor hygiene Lack of training on proper maintenance of headsets
44
Work Elements and associated Risk factors of
visual fatigue
Visual Display Work Environment Work Position Job Design/ Organization Individual/ Psychosocial Factors
poor image quality, flicker, character size (too small or too big) a. poor illumination, excessive contrast in visual field, glare, reflections b. high vertical position of the display which may lead to dryness c. inappropriate viewing distance between worker and screen, keyboard, document d. dry air (relative humidity lt40) e. air movement gt0.5 m/sec upward gaze direction a. long duration of work , esp. if without breaks b. high degree of concentration required c. fast pace of work d. repetitive and invariable task a. uncorrected visual deficiencies b. inadequate training on VDT operation
45
Work Elements and associated Risk factors of
work-related musculoskeletal disorder
Physical Work Environment Workstation Design Work Posture Job Design/ Organization Individual/ Psychosocial Factors
Contributing to improper posture a. inadequate lighting b. presence of glare and reflections on the screen a. chair without proper lumbar support b. not height adjustable chair and keyboard c. too high or too low position of monitor or keyboard d. inadequate workspace a. static posture b. repetitive keying or mouse manipulation c. non-neutral posture (head or body twisted to one side wrist flexed or extended elevated shoulders) a. long duration of work , esp. if without breaks b. high degree of concentration required c. fast pace of work d. invariable, repetitive task e. high performance quotas a. uncorrected visual deficiencies b. inadequate training on computer operation c. lack of job control d. low job satisfaction
46
Health, Safety and Social Issues Risk Factors Associated with Night Work
Sleep disorders Continued poor quality sleep
Gastrointestinal disorders Digestive function reduced at night. Intake of coffee and other drinks containing caffeine Increased incidence of smoking to keep awake at night No access to proper meals at night because canteens are closed at night irregular meal times and snack
Errors and Accidents Decreased alertness corresponding to trough of circadian rhythm Sleep debt Cumulative fatigue
Substance abuse Alcohol used to overcome fatigue and sleep debt Amphetamines and caffeine used to keep awake at night
Physical attack Walking very late at night or very early in the morning because public transport may not be available at these times
Disruption in the pattern of social practices Exclusion from events and activities involving the family, friends or community Lack of contact with partners, children and friends Inability to pursue education, sports etc.
47
Implications of the Study
  • Knowledge gained to be used to improve working
    conditions
  • In existing and prospective new call centers
  • Address the OSH problems at an early stage
  • Policy/Program Implications
  • needs of women, mothers, young workers
  • policies concerning work shifts, esp. prolonged
    night work
  • adequate, on-site medical and health promotion
    facilities

48
Implications of the Study
  • Recognition of complex nature of safety and
    health issues in call centers
  • Interaction of psychosocial factors with other
    work factors
  • Unique work organization because of electronic
    monitoring
  • High performance standards
  • Issues on job security
  • Compensation implications
  • Recognition of problems of workers in call
    centers
  • Associated with air quality, ambient noise, noise
    from headset, human-computer interaction, shift
    work, etc.

49
Approach in EnsuringWell-Being of Workers
  • Looking at regulatory requirements
  • Relevant laws, standards, issuances and
    guidelines
  • Enforcement
  • Implementation
  • Inspection
  • Evaluation
  • Looking at developmental strategies
  • Information
  • Education
  • Training
  • Campaigns
  • Good practices
  • Successful cases
  • Competitions
  • Demonstrations
  • Interventions

50
Participatory approach
  • Participation and involvement from stakeholders
  • Coordinated intervention
  • Learning from
  • specifications/guidelines,
  • scientific data
  • best practice

51
The Link
Prevention of disease/injury
Promotion of good health and safety
Improvement of safety and health
HEALTHY, SAFE, COMFORTABLE
PRODUCTIVITY
52
Lesson 7.
  • Prepare yourself
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