Asia has long been known for producing some of the smartest people in the world. Outside of that, they have also been known for their amazing work ethic, strong ideals, and high employee expectations. Therefore, it’s no surprise that their rapid growth and modernization has turned heads. However, along with that modernization and amazing work ethic comes a great need for ergonomics and safer workplaces. Corporate Wellness Magazine states that, “Reports of multinational company employees in their twenties working overtime and on weekends, collapsing at their desks, and working themselves to exhaustion and in extreme cases death are not uncommon in Asia.” They go on to point out that China has the highest rate of diabetes in the world which has become a severe health problem for the country and their faltering health system.
Ergonomics and the need for safer workplaces is new to Asia in general. The many employers within Asia’s boarders have become quickly aware of the rising issues appearing in their employees. Tim De Meyer, one of the directors of the ILO, makes a point that if not treated, these work-related health issues could become the leading problem within Asia’s companies in a short amount of time. Asia is making great strides to hone in on this quickly rising problem as they rely on industrialization to continue growing as they have.
Meyer sums up Asia’s efforts to reach the goal of safer workplaces by stating that, “We want safer and healthier workplaces to become an integral part of the new normal. China’s capacity to innovate will depend critically on the health of a possibly smaller but higher skilled, well cared-for workforce.” Asia is no stranger to the fact that their workers are an important aspect to their country’s growth and put heavy importance on their health and wellness.
The ACFTU and the NIOHP received support from ILO in releasing ergonomics checkpoints in 2013. Many companies started to utilize these checkpoints, fully, in 2015 and report a large improvement in their employees and the company’s overall production. Lingzhi Li, a factory worker in charge of going through checkpoints at her place of work, states that, “On the one hand, it’s good for the workers, since the jobs are adjusted to fit them instead of asking the workers to fit the jobs.” She goes on to say that it has also benefited the company greatly due to “improved productivity.”
Ergonomics plays an important role that not only benefits employees but also the productivity of a work environment in general. When a company puts effort into their employees’ overall wellness, they are also putting effort into the overall wellness of the company.
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