When we say "DANGER," the image of our own workplace seldom comes to mind. People usually relate disastrous events to vehicular or airplane accidents, outdoor activity mishaps, gas explosions or toxic spills.
We usually forget that there are things in our workplace that also have detrimental effects on our health. Innocuous instruments that we use around the office could be unlikely health hazards that pose a real threat to our health. We may take for granted the glare from our computer screens, but, over time, these could damage our eyesight. According to recent studies, toner found in some laser printers emits particles that may be as harmful to our lungs as cigarettes. The effect can range from respiratory irritation to more severe illnesses, such as heart ailments and even cancer.
Aside from the physical threats, there are also certain situations that cause us distress. A boss screaming at the top of his lungs first thing in the morning creates emotional distress that could result in poor health. Even a messy office desk could add to your aggravation. Illnesses can be caused by a lot of things. We may be unaware of them. We may not have discovered them yet. That is why it pays to be protected: Occupational safety is the key. Risks may vary depending on the environment you are in or in the work that you have.
That is why the first step to maintaining health and safety in the office is knowing what can make you sick.
- Cleanliness - Have a look around. How clean is your office table? Does the office have proper ventilation? Are there messy electric wires all around you? These are only some of the more obvious things to look for. As said earlier, some laser printers emit particles that may be harmful if inhaled. This is easily remedied by ensuring proper ventilation in the office, which will help disperse the harmful chemicals. Having a clean office space also minimizes the risk of accidents in the workplace. It also helps in giving the employee a clearer mindset.
- Computers - It also helps to bear in mind that computers emit radiation. Although most people are not affected by it, some others, especially those with photosensitivity should take precautions. Anti-glare monitor screens are one of the tools you can use to reduce the amount of radiation that gets emitted from the screens.
- Stress and burnout - Another thing that is most commonly overlooked is the amount of stress we get at the office. The demands of our jobs leave most people worried and anxious about the smallest of things. Stress, when "positive," actually helps people achieve. This is called "eustress," the life-giving kind of stress that keeps people motivated. However, stress, if left unchecked, turns into the achiever's enemy and may bring him or her into a state of burnout.
Here are some suggestions on how to deal with workplace stress:
- Establish a daily "ritual" when you get home. Run a bubble bath and soak for an hour or so to relax. Play some relaxing music. Light aromatherapy candles and lie in your bathtub with all your senses turned on to the smell of the candles, the music, and the lovely water around you. Stress-relievers like these serve to get the edge off of what you are going through.
- Maybe you need a relationship with your creator. Studies show that people who pray and practice faith and religion actually lead happier, more balanced lives. Sometimes, when there's no one we can run to, you can turn to your more spiritual side.
- Assess your situation. Do you need to make a drastic move and change jobs? If things are no longer working out for you at the office, then it's high time that you consider a career change. This may serve to bring back the joie d' vivre, or the zest for life that you once had.
Remember, a fat paycheck is useless if you hate yourself while you jump through hoops just to get it. Maintain a balanced life — both a salary you can be happy with, in conditions that let you keep your joy and your sanity. Don't believe people when they say that you can't have everything. You can. When you are in a place where you can ignore or even transcend the daily annoyances that beset the worker, you know that you have finally achieved a state of mind that can cope and deal with workplace health strains.