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Write a Report for Ergonomic Solutions for Arthritic Workers.

The report is prepared to be presented to the board of directors of Amazing Suppliers that has been introducing change in work shift of their warehouse staffs. Amazing Suppliers is a large organization that supplies wide range of goods that they sell it through online channel. Since the demand of products sold is quite high, it has been decided that in some areas. Twenty hour of working would be introduced and this shift system would be majorly impacting warehouse staffs. Report intends to analyse the impact of extended, overtime and long working hours and challenges faced by organization. Twenty four working hours for the warehouse staffs would adversely affecting the health and wellbeing of employees. Long working hours are potentially dangerous to health of workers.  Long working hours comes with the challenge and risk of occupational illness and injuries. Challenges can be faced relating to work life balance and workers might face psychological issues due to long extended working hours. They would face changes sleeping and eating phase. Another issue is faced in terms of inefficiency in the performance of workers due to disruption of circadian rhythm combined with fatigue and sleep deficit. Organization would have lower efficiency of performance for warehouse staffs. Long working shift would case long-term effects concerning health and higher social and economic cost for both organization and society as a whole (Broberg and Hall-Andersen 2014). On other hand, twelve hour working shift can be tiring for administrative staffs. Nonetheless, it does not comes with several challenges as it incorporates a well-balanced workloads and frequent rest pauses.

From the above discussion, it is ascertained that extended working hours comes with several health issues faced by employees. Fatigue is one of the common complain among the workers who are working for abnormal hours. It is noticeable after the night shift of workers and least on the afternoon shift. This particular issue faced by workers is somewhat difficult to measure Secondly, it will lower efficient performance of employees due to long-term impact on health. In this particular section, the application of concept of ergonomics is discussed in relation to challenges faced due to shift in working hours. Another issue that is faced by workers is that twenty hour working shift has a relevant intervene with family and social life. This would result in psychosomatic disorders and psychological stress. Great difficulties would be faced by warehouse staff of organization in combing working and social times (Haslam and Waterson 2013). In relation to complexity of personal duties, family time, coordination of workers with family time table will become difficult.

Measuring of various health issues faced by employees due to long working hours


Ergonomics or factor of human application have been ascertained to positively affect the performance of workers, satisfaction and health and safety of workers. This would impact the overall performance of organization in both direct and indirect way. Ergonomics is a scientific approach that is related to the understanding of interaction among human and other elements of a system. Organization practicing ergonomics contributes to evaluation and designing of tasks jobs, environment, system and products so that it is compatible with the abilities, needs and limitation of people. Implementation of criteria of ergonomics would help in minimizing the adverse impact of change in shifting schedules and leading to better place for working (Hignett et al. 2013). The schedule of shifting is required to be designed in accordance with ergonomic criteria.

From the discussion of this particular section, it is inferred that organisation has difficulties in measuring issues such as fatigue. Fatigue that are caused to workers due to long hour of works can be measures using some methods or tools of analysis such as Cognitive testing, multi latency test and Epworth Sleepiness scale. It would help in minimizing the adverse impacts of shift schedule by limiting the impacts, lessening the stress, avoiding consecutive number of prolonged night shifts, minimizing accumulation of sleep deficits, circadian disruption and fatigue. Excess of consecutive working days and prolonged working hours are connected with increased risk of ergonomics related injuries. Ergonomics issues is associated with sleep deprivation and lost workdays due to this continuous work shift. Sleep deprivation might lead to damage in terms of ligament, muscle and tendon injury. This leads to increased risk of ergonomic injuries. It has been found from previous research that twelve hour working shift is not regarded as inherently damaging health and employees and they are not regarded as dangerous for employee’s health. Excess working hours is shouldered injuries due to unsatisfactory leisure time (Franssila et al. 2016). Some of the guidelines according to ergonomics for designing the shifting system are as follows:

  • Slowly rotating system is not considered better compared to quickly rotating shifting system as they assist in minimizing the cumulative sleep deficit extent and have less interference with circadian rhythms (Young et al. 2015).
  • Permanent night shift of twenty four hour shift is permitted only for warehouse staffs and they should be guaranteed with highest level of safety by making complete adjustment to night work schedule.
  • Pro longed working shift needs to be contemplated when there is suitability in the work load and workers should be provide with sufficient rest. Shift system is designed in such a way that helps in minimizing the exposure to toxic substances and fatigue accumulation.
  • In order to meet preferences and needs of workers, organization should promote flexible working arrangement.
  • For reduction of truncation of sleep, organisation should avoid early start of morning shift and consequently the reduction of risk of errors and fatigue.
  • The shifting system soul be regular and free weekend should be guaranteed and this would assist warehouse staffs in conveniently enjoying their leisure and social time.
  • There should be clockwise rotation as it is parallel to endogenous circadian rhythm and it helps in avoiding quick changeovers and leading to immediate recovery by allowing longer rest periods.

The balance in work life for employees working in organization is placing increased importance in ergonomics. This concept consider accounting for both diversities among individuals and group of workers. There are many effective guidelines for instilling practice of ergonomics within the working environment. Improvement in implementation of ergonomics will help in reducing the risk related to injury of occupation. Practice of ergonomics provide with positive benefits such as improved health and keeping workers healthy (Martin et al. 2013).

Now, discussing the concepts of ergonomics in relation to lower worker efficiency. It is done in terms of increased productivity resulting from increasing effectiveness of workers or warehouse and administrative staffs. Workers are able to accomplish their tasks efficiently when they have more energy and feel stronger in the environment where they are working. Positive ergonomic techniques is employed by organization is establishment of rules that helps in facilitating health of employees (Yang et al. 2015). Risks of employee injuries and health issues can be reduced by Amazing Suppliers by adhering to the principles of ergonomics. Productivity among warehouse and administrative staffs of organization will be improved by opting for best ergonomic solution. Workstation will be made more efficient by designing job in good posture and better heights and reaches. Comfort level of employees is considerably influenced by the office ergonomics. Application of this concept helps in designing job in such a way that work is safer and efficient (Falzon 2014). Workers and staffs of Amazing Suppliers would have increased productivity and would feel the comfort in performing jobs by implementing solution of ergonomics.

Epworth sleepiness scale- It is a self-rating scale on eight items and helps in assessing the likelihood of employees of falling sleep. The likelihood of falling asleep is rated on scale ranging from 0 to 3. 3 indicates high chance of falling asleep and 0 indicates no chance of falling asleep. Greater sleep propensity is reflected by higher scores and total score ranges from 0 to 24. Employees complaining excessive day time sleepiness would score 12 or higher. In this way, Amazing Suppliers can the measure the fatigue of employees (Walker et al. 2017).

Multi latency test- Multi latency test is a tool of diagnosing sleep disorder. This particular tool is used in measuring sleep latency that is time elapsed from the start of nap during day time to the first sign of sleep. The idea that forms the basis of sleep is that people will asleep faster when they are feeling sleepy. This test is used for making distinction between excessive day time sleepiness and physical tiredness. This test is applied in working environment for assessing the readiness of person to fall asleep in a conducive setting. Multi latency test helps in measuring the fatigue level of employees (Hanson 2013).

Cognitive testing methods- Cognitive testing is a psychological testing that helps in evaluation of functional capacity of an individual employees. This particular testing relies on measuring performance of tasks for assessing cognitive functioning and this leads to severity of cognitive impairment establishment. It is the primary way for establishing severity of cognitive impairment (Dekker et al. 2013).

Employment of all the measures of testing would help organization in evaluating the impact of the shifting hours on wellbeing and performance of employees.

Solution for all the anticipated challenge faced due to shifting of working hours:

Fatigue- Heavy physical work helps in reducing fatigue among employees. Warehouse staffs would be working for twenty four hours that will increase chance of fatigue. Engaging workers in heavy physical work would leads to fatigue reduction (Zink and Fischer 2013). Organization of physical work should be done or organized in a way that will help to minimize the fatigue faced by workers.


Sleep disorder-Organization does not have any magic formulae for making workers fall asleep and one formula might work for one person and might not for another person. Workers working throughout day and night are provided with some useful proposals to help them in curbing sleeping problems.

  • Reduction of outside noise and light by using dark and heavy curtains, sound proof doors, air conditioners and windows.
  • Making use of individual headphones on radio and televisions and silent answering phone machines
  • Workers should be provided with the option of moving towards the quieter living areas if the existing living area if nosier.
  • Warehouse staffs should be encouraged not to consume alcohol so that they are able to asleep faster and should give them time to slow down after work.

Optimizing shifting system- There is not optimal shift timing and the managers in organization is required to seek the best compromise between needs of workers and demand of enterprise. The decision of shifting system should be founded on the scientific recommendations for shift system designing. For the acceptance of new shift system, one of the factor that is of particular importance is implementation strategy. Amazing Suppliers should incorporate the guideline for implementing new working arrangement.

Comparison of normal person and person working for longer hours:

Normal person

Person working for longer hours

Normal persons working in organization does not face any issue of sleep deficit and fatigue.

Person working for longer hours faces several health issues such as fatigue and tiredness. This causes an increased need for sleep among workers.

Workers working on normal shift timings does not face health issues relating to sleep and appetite.

Twenty four hour shift would lead to change in timing and meal sequence and there is a high probability that these workers would suffer from appetite disturbances (Tillman et al. 2016).

Normal working hours helps in maintaining efficiency and productivity level among employees. This helps in enhancing the performance of employees.

Workers working for prolonged hours is associated with lower level of productivity and efficiency. This ultimately lower the performance of employees within organization.

Implementation of procedures for introducing new shifting hours that is working for twenty four hours would adversely affect the warehouse staffs. The adverse impact would be in terms of health, performance and productivity of employees. In this regard, amazing suppliers have to roll out new procedures as a response to negative or adverse impact on warehouse staffs.  Procedures should be regarding the minimizing the adverse impact on staffs and increasing productivity by rolling out new working hours. The roll out of new working procedures should be structured in such a way that health of workers are not compromised (Thatcher 2013).

It is suggested by growing evidence that twenty four hour working is bad for health and safety of employees. Fatigue workers are more likely to commit errors and mistakes that may have serious repercussions on individual employees and organization as a whole. New working hours should provide guidelines for shift design and working environment.

  • Amazing Suppliers should plan an appropriate and varied workload
  • Avoiding permanent night shifts by offering warehouse staffs a choice of rotating or permanent shifts.
  • Organization should either adopt a forward rotating shift or either rotating shift every two to three shifts.
  • Workers should be encouraged to take regular breaks and allow them to take choice when they need it.
  • Twenty four hour working should be not on continuous basis and there should be the adoption of switching between shifts by allowing them two night full sleep.
  • Shift schedule should incorporate building of regular free weekends.
  • In the extended case, shift timing for warehouse workers and administrative should be limited to twelve hour shift. This can be extended to extra working hours when there is increased demand for work.
  • Needs of vulnerable workers should be considered such as ageing workers, expecting mothers and young workers.
  • Warehouse staffs should be provided with similar facilities as those available during day time workers such as administrative staffs. Workers should be provided with the opportunities of training and development and canteen facilities (Kroemer and Kroemer 2016).
  • Amazing suppliers should ensure that lighting and temperature during night is preferably adjustable and appropriate.
  • Information and training on riskiness of shift work should be provided so that management and supervisors are able to identify the problems.
  • Workers working for prolonger hours including night shift should be provided with health assessments.
  • Organization should ensure that surrounding and workplace is safe, secure and well monitored.
  • During period of low alertness, there should be increased supervision.

Conclusion

From the analysis of the given case study on Amazing Suppliers that is facing with the increased demand of their products, is opting for twenty four working for warehouse staffs. It can be inferred from the analysis of the given case that introduction of twenty four working would have adverse effect on health and wellbeing of employees. Working procedures roll out should be designed in such a way that health of workers are not compromised at any cost as it is the society and organization that would bear the costs. Introduction of twelve hour working shift for administrative staffs does not have much impact on their health issues as there would not be disruption in their work life balance. Adverse impact on employees relating to health issues such as fatigue can be measured by the implementation of analytical tool and tests such as cognitive testing and multi-lateral testings. Amazing Suppliers should design their roll out structures in such a way that health of employees are not compromised. 

References list:

Broberg, O. and Hall-Andersen, L.B., 2014. Integrating ergonomics into engineering design: The role of objects.

Dekker, S.W., Hancock, P.A. and Wilkin, P., 2013. Ergonomics and sustainability: towards an embrace of complexity and emergence. Ergonomics, 56(3), pp.357-364. 

Falzon, P. ed., 2014. Constructive ergonomics. CRC Press.

Franssila, H., Okkonen, J. and Savolainen, R., 2016. Developing measures for information ergonomics in knowledge work. Ergonomics, 59(3), pp.435-448.

Hanson, M.A., 2013. Green ergonomics: challenges and opportunities. Ergonomics, 56(3), pp.399-408.

Haslam, R. and Waterson, P., 2013. Ergonomics and sustainability.

Hignett, S., Carayon, P., Buckle, P. and Catchpole, K., 2013. State of science: human factors and ergonomics in healthcare. Ergonomics, 56(10), pp.1491-1503.

Kroemer, A.D. and Kroemer, K.H., 2016. Office Ergonomics: Ease and Efficiency at Work. CRC Press.

Martin, K., Legg, S. and Brown, C., 2013. Designing for sustainability: ergonomics–carpe diem. Ergonomics, 56(3), pp.365-388

Thatcher, A., 2013. Green ergonomics: definition and scope. Ergonomics, 56(3), pp.389-398.

Tillman, B., Tillman, P., Rose, R.R. and Woodson, W.E., 2016. Human Factors and Ergonomics Design Handbook Third Edition. McGraw Hill Professional.

Walker, G.H., Salmon, P.M., Bedinger, M. and Stanton, N.A., 2017. Quantum ergonomics: shifting the paradigm of the systems agenda. Ergonomics, 60(2), pp.157-166.

Wilson, J.R., 2014. Fundamentals of systems ergonomics/human factors. Applied ergonomics, 45(1), pp.5-13.

Yang, Y., Thomas, K., Stumpf, T., Starr, C., Le, Q.V. and Johnson, A.E., The Boeing Company, 2015. Ergonomics awareness chairs, systems, and methods. U.S. Patent Application 14/866,569.

Young, M.S., Brookhuis, K.A., Wickens, C.D. and Hancock, P.A., 2015. State of science: mental workload in ergonomics. Ergonomics, 58(1), pp.1-17.

Zink, K.J. and Fischer, K., 2013. Do we need sustainability as a new approach in human factors and ergonomics?. Ergonomics, 56(3), pp.348-356.

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