“Being comfortable also means that there is a higher probability of maintaining a higher level of focus and attention to the tasks at hand, thereby increasing productivity, clarity of thought, and safety.” So says Thomas S. (Denver, CO). It's a wonderful notion that summarizes both Parts I and II of this four-part series. To immediately address Part II’s cliff hanger, everything influences the comfort of laboratory professionals. However, laboratory professionals identified two major factors: Equipment and Culture.
It is a cultural thing
Scientific laboratories thrive on discovery, innovation and results, but must accomplish these goals while always looking through the lens of safety. Having concluded that comfort improves both safety and productivity, it would behoove laboratory managers to nurture a supportive culture.
There are several ways management can do this. Elizabeth G. (Rochester, NY) suggests that, “we need to foster an environment where employees feel that they can approach us with [pain related] issues.” The end goal being that lab employees be “responsible to bring up unsafe work practices or environments to [their] supervisors or EH&S personnel,” says Gary S (Miami, FL).
A company can go a long way to reinforce this culture by investing in their people’s comfort. And it is more than a morale issue, it is a fiscally responsibility of managament to provide equipment with human design factors (or ergonomics). “The cost of providing the safety gadgets required in the laboratory is cheaper than the cost of curing the damage and loss incurred,” notes Abdul Gafarr T. (Nigeria).
Safety “gadgets” will be the topic of our upcoming fourth and final installment of this discourse.
Equipment is Key. Comfort, unfortunately, is not always possible in some work environments, however, Victor V. of Milwaukee, WI seems to have found an easy...
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