Ergonomics at work: are you up to standard 17?

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Ergonomics at work: are you up to standard 17?

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THE NR 17, or Regulatory Standard 17, is a legal guideline that guides companies on quality of life in the workplace. Have you heard?

Every company needs to be aware of the issue of ergonomic risk. After all, there is no point in hiring good professionals if the company’s space does not offer minimum quality for the execution of the workday.

Thus, norm 17 guides organizations towards providing comfort and safety to workers! So, how about understanding better about the subject and guaranteeing the quality of life of your teams?

What is the importance of NR 17?

THE Rule 17 was approved on June 8, 1978, that is, it is not so recent. Since then, its adoption has been mandatory in all organizations governed by the CLT (Consolidation of Labor Laws).

Thanks to this guideline, it is possible to decrease the risk of injury and promote productivity within companies.

Basically, the NR 17 talk about safety and how it should be:

  • Lifting, transport and unloading of materials;
  • Arrangement of furniture at work;
  • Essential equipment;
  • Environmental conditions;
  • Specific conditions for the case of call centers.

Many people do not give due importance to the ergonomic aspect, but this can bring a huge headache later! So, what are the possible risks?

Maintain an improper posture during long hours of work or use furniture and equipment that does not offer any security. Whatever the situation, the bad working conditions contribute to the appearance of injuries and diseases such as bursitis, tendonitis, dermatitis, deafness and among others.

It is worth questioning: is it that you pay attention to your employees’ complaints?

You probably agree that it is impossible to work willing and motivated when the office has poor ventilation, uncomfortable chairs, poor quality furniture, etc. Therefore, it is essential that leaders and managers pay attention to the ergonomics in the workplace.

Follow the details of the standard!

The main guidelines of Standard 17

It is good to know all the details of the regulatory standardto ensure comfort and that your company is following the laws.

To make it easier, we selected the main points of the standard on ergonomics. Check out:

  • 17.2.3. Every worker designated for the regular manual transport of loads, other than light, must receive satisfactory training or instructions as to the working methods you should use in order to safeguard your health and prevent accidents.
  • 17.3.1. Whenever work can be done in a sitting position, the job must be planned or adapted for this position.
  • 17.3.2. For sitting or standing manual labor, benches, tables, desks and panels must provide the worker with good posture, visualization and operation conditions and must meet the following requirements: minimum requirements:
  • a) have height and characteristics of the work surface compatible with the type of activity, with the required distance from the eyes to the work field and with the height of the seat;
  • b) have a work area that is easily accessible and visible to the worker;
  • c) have dimensional characteristics that allow proper positioning and movement of the body segments.
  • 17.3.3. Seats used in workstations must comply with the following minimum comfort requirements:
  • a) height adjustable to the height of the worker and the nature of the function performed;
  • b) characteristics of little or no conformation at the base of the seat;
  • c) rounded front edge;
  • d) backrest with a shape slightly adapted to the body for protection of the lumbar region.
  • 17.3.5. For activities in which the work must be carried out standing, rest seats should be placed in places where they can be used by all workers during breaks.
  • 7.5.3. In all workplaces there must be adequate lighting, natural or artificial, general or supplementary, appropriate to the nature of the activity.
  • 17.5.3.1. The general lighting should be evenly distributed and diffused.
  • 17.5.3.2. General or supplementary lighting must be designed and installed in such a way avoid glare, uncomfortable reflections, shadows and excessive contrasts.
  • 17.6.3. In activities that require static or dynamic muscular overload of the neck, shoulders, back and upper and lower limbs, and from the ergonomic analysis of the work, the following must be observed:
  • a) any and all performance evaluation system for the purpose of remuneration and advantages of any kind must take into account the repercussions on workers’ health;
  • b) rest breaks must be included;
  • c) when returning from work, after any type of leave equal to or greater than 15 (fifteen) days, the production requirement must allow a gradual return to the levels of production in force at the time prior to the leave.

In addition to all this, the entire company needs to observe specific rules on work organization, which involve: the production standards, the operating mode, the time requirement, the determination of the time content, the pace of work and the content of the tasks.

By fulfilling the above determinations, you prevent the company from suffering losses and ensures more quality of life. In the next topic, you’ll understand what happens when the company doesn’t respect the ergonomics standards. Be sure to read!

What if the rules are not met?

To guarantee quality of life, it is necessary that Rule 17 be fulfilled to the letter. This goes for both the employer and the employee!

Failure to respect the standard means putting the health of the professionals involved at risk, harming the results and even the legality of the company. If any irregularities are identified during inspection, the company has up to 60 days to correct errors.

At the end of the term, a new inspection is made. If corrections are not made, the organization is fined and may even respond to a lawsuit.

Therefore, it is necessary to design and maintain the work environment always in accordance with the NR 17. Is it over there serves to prevent the worker from suffering from repetitive efforts, which undermines his performance and certainly harms the company’s results.

How to promote quality of life in companies?

When we talk about “ergonomics at work”We speak of several factors, which must be respected for the worker to be able to perform his job with excellence.

If you don’t offer minimum well-being for employees, it will be difficult to expect them to bring good results.

Some ways of promoting quality of life in companies and respecting NR 17 are:

  • Quality and layout of furniture;
  • Adequate temperature in the environment;
  • Noise;
  • Organization;
  • Safe equipment;
  • Orientation and correct handling of equipment;
  • Ventilation;
  • Lighting;
  • Short breaks during the workday;
  • Cognitive ergonomics (if the environment is hostile, if there is excessive demand).

But in addition to the physical aspects, it is necessary to pay attention to the psychological aspect of the worker. If you suffer from absenteeism in the company, it is worth investigating to discover the main reasons for so many absences.

Is the work environment not one of them?

In the business environment, the company must make it clear what are the ergonomics rules so that each professional also looks after their health. In addition, it is important to have a continuous inspection with preventive measures, such as signs, notices, communications etc.

Want some tips on how to promote quality of life at work? Check it out below:

  1. invest in comfortable chairs and seats, especially in those where the worker will spend more time;
  2. pay attention to the height of the monitor, which needs to be at eye level;
  3. look for alternatives to reduce employee fatigue, such as remote work, rest spaces, mental health programs, etc;
  4. encourage the worker to take short breaks with stretching during the working day;
  5. ask the collaborator. That’s right, ask people about what they think of the work environment! It is worth promoting an individual questionnaire so that the company is aware of the main problems that affect employees.
  6. encourage hydration. It may seem “silly”, but drinking water helps to prevent musculoskeletal disorders and also increases the recovery of this system.

As we have seen, NR 17 details essential guidelines on ergonomics at work. Thanks to it, it is possible to ensure the health and well-being of the worker, ensuring that he performs his activities in the best way.

If you want to increase motivation and your company’s productivity, you first need to observe whether there is quality of life in the environment. What is the point of adopting motivation strategies if the space in which people spend most of the day is flawed?

By following the tips above, you will be able to transform your company’s daily life and guarantee everyone’s well-being, respecting NR 17!

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