April 20, 2017

O for Occupational Hazards

In the team of five permanent team members and a few floating employees on contract, nobody would have suspected occupational hazard involved in the work I do. (Of course, in my previous two companies there were many hazards involved and to protect ourselves, we were given protective layers, shoes , eye wear etc, but we had to use them once in a while thanks to the white collar job I was involved in)

When I joined then-my-new-job, I felt little too dull (relaxed too!) as I suspected no hazards in my profile, even when the first year involved a lot of scouting of manufacturers of our products. What I realized in last two years, (even after studying Ergonomics I acted ignorant) that any occupation comes with a bag of hazards and one must take precautions before he/she gets affected negatively. Let me talk about hazards involved in my new startup- air conditioned office, which I am trying to protect myself from.

Loss of Lordosis & Scitica 
I agree, they are heavy terms for common men, but believe me they are not too unknown as it is said, in today's laptop era, 70% of employees of the world suffer from light to heavy spine/neck/neurological problems, thanks to laptops we work on. Rather, postures we make while we work for hours together. (Do not ask me how, but even after taking a break every 20 minutes, I ended up injuring my neck- it took heavy muscle relaxants,sleepless nights & six days work from home to recover a bit from it) Most of the people do not understand that upper edge of the laptop screen should be parallel to the eye site, arms while typing should be perpendicular to the body and every 40 minutes of working one must take a small break from laptop. A few know these basic ergonomics and many of them know but do not care to change. People, this is very very painful and you must check your posture.

Water, water
Air conditioned atmosphere generally hide your thirst. Believe me, there were days when I won't have a drop of water as I won't feel thirsty at all. While lower temperature might de-hydrate you, replenishing water in your body is absolutely essential. I won't go into technicalities but fluid retention is another thing if you ignore dehydration. Please put a reminder and drink sufficient water. Or face the dehydration or water retention. Period.

Snack- Pack
If you have put on weight after changing a job, there are high chances that you are snacking on junk and processed food, apart from not doing enough physical activity. ("Kam jam gaya hai", said Pados wali Aunty?) Too much of work and no time to have proper meals on time, generally create evil hunger pangs. Accept it guys, increasing intake of coffee - tea and eating biscuits, muffins, packaged Nashtas - we have done it all, at least once in our career. Pack small lunch-boxes,as many as you want but home cooked food or dairy products. Stay away from Sugar and processed stuff. I am having trouble following this as it requires heavy planning but I would get there soon.

Eyes Eyes Baby
I have seen more than nine people who had to wear eye wears or went through sever eye dryness, thanks to the screens we keep on staring at. It is no more a wear-a-protective-eye wear- problem. Eyes also need rest and with increasing usage of gadgets- they get it only when one sleeps properly.We can do as little as keeping eyes well rested and avoid putting any Kajal on every day basis. Girls, I know I am talking about you.

If not entirely we can eliminate all the problems we face in today's age and era, to reduce such occupational hazards but we Indians are quite Jugadu , hence can definitely take a middle path and improve the situation.

Like designing your own laptop desk from corrugated boxes with a separate pair of  keyboard and mouse.

The way I did.

Have you thought about occupational hazards you are unknowingly exposed to?

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