Healthy at work: What rights do I have??
You actually lead a healthy lifestyle, but it's hard to implement in the workplace? We explain how you can also take your health into consideration during the workday and what rights you have vis-à-vis your employer.
Back pain from uncomfortable office chairs, Headache by spending hours in front of a flickering screen or Overweight from greasy canteen food. These and many other hazards at work can get in the way of your health. Often we don't even question these things because they have crept into our daily work routine. Mental factors, such as Permanent stress, Can affect your well-being to a great extent. If this is followed by a high level of sick leave, it can add to the prere and put a strain on colleagues as well.
Who is responsible for a healthy workplace?
The employer has a duty of care towards his employees. Health protection in the workplace includes technical protective measures as well as measures to prevent work-related illnesses. Occupational health and safety is not just about safety on the store floor. In addition to physical stress, mental health should also be a focus, so that complaints can be identified and eliminated at an early stage.
Employer in the obligation
The company is obliged to ensure both occupational safety and health protection on the premises, in a production hall or in the office. The employer's duty of care includes the following measures:
– to prevent work-related illnesses – to promote well-being – to prevent accidents at work (technical occupational safety)
Furniture and space provided by the business must not pose or promote a health hazard to the employee. Rather, emphasis should be placed on appropriate equipment that actively contributes to health protection.
These three cornerstones are important:
– sufficient, glare-free lighting – pleasant room climate – no noise pollution
In addition, employees have the opportunity to request further measures to maintain their health. Conceivable further training in the areas of nutrition, time management, recovery times, stress prevention and back therapy. The employer must fundamentally counteract overexertion of employees. That's why he should keep an eye on the number of overtime hours. Have the observance of rest breaks.
Be proactive: Here's what you can do yourself
As an employee, you can also take health-promoting measures on your own initiative that are individually tailored to your daily work routine and your needs.
Make sure you get exercise at work: Through Muscle exercises can loosen, relax and strengthen areas of the body that are under one-sided strain, such as the back. Take a short walk to create an active lunch break where you can get your body moving and clear your mind Standing instead of sittingWork if possible alternately in the standing and in sitting. The changed position relieves the back, shoulders and neck and boosts the circulation – Canteen food is not for you? Prepare delicious and healthy meals at home, which you can heat up in the office kitchen. Make sure you have healthy snacks and a well-balanced break meal Mental rest might be possible by Power nap be encouraged. This method of taking a quick nap has long been established in Japan. In Germany, taking a nap during the lunch break is (still) unthinkable. Who knows, maybe this will change someday? Because studies prove: The short sleep phase of 10 to 20 minutes can be worked more productively Occupational health careIf you want to be on the safe side, you can make regular appointments with the company doctor. In this way, diseases can be detected at an early stage. The triggering factor to be remedied.
Bring something healthy from home for your lunch break. (c) colorbox.en
Occupational safety in the home office
In the home office, above all Employee initiative required. The company has different obligations, depending on whether it is a "teleworking" or "mobile working" situation. Key ies in the home office that can quickly become a health hazard are a lack of ergonomics, the wrong equipment, no fixed working hours and a poor work-life balance.
If you were previously sitting in an office, you will have to make a big adjustment in the home office. Because the workspace is now moving into your own four walls. Here you should urgently take some precautions, in order not to impair your own quality of life.
Equip your workplace properly: To be able to work optimally and, above all, healthily from home, you need a proper workplace that offers you good working conditions. Not every home is suitable for this. Make sure you have enough workspace, the place has enough daylight, and you are equipped with the necessary technology such as screens and computer accessories. To do this, consult with your company to see if there is a way to provide furniture and work equipment for the home office. Pay attention to ergonomics: In the long run, it doesn't work well if you work from the couch or kitchen table. An ergonomic chair and a workstation that is tailored to you contribute significantly to your health and prevent tension.
Keep to your working hours: At home, you are always on call and can easily be tempted to work an extra hour or two when there are many tasks to be done. You quickly run the risk of taking on too much and getting stressed out. What many quickly forget: Even in the home office, you should make sure you take screen breaks and have a fixed closing time. Set daily goals and deadlines for this. In order not to forget the small breaks, you can set an alarm clock to remind you to take a sip, move around briefly and ventilate the room.
A healthy work-life balance: After work, you should not be preoccupied with your work. This also includes cleaning up the work material. Work documents in the living area and the laptop on the kitchen table ensure that you are reminded of work even in your free time. So that you can really enjoy your end of the day and relax, stow everything in one place so that the work material does not continuously catch your eye. Also remember to switch call forwarding to your home phone or turn off the work phone.
Breaks and fixed working hours also apply in the home office. (c) Sebra / Fotolia
Exercise after work: Spending the whole day indoors can quickly put a damper on your mind. Above all, the journey is missing. The way home as a clear demarcation in the daily structure. Before you go about your private daily routine, give yourself a short break and take a walk. Exercise after work also clears the mind. Ensure the necessary movement as compensation.
Get tips from others: You are not the only person who has been unprepared for the topic of home offices. Exchange ideas with friends and acquaintances. Everyone has some useful tips and advice that can benefit you and your health.
4 steps to problem solving
If you suffer from physical or mental discomfort due to conditions at work, you can get to the root of the problem with the following four steps.
Step 1: Identify problems early
In order to be able to improve health and safety, it is first necessary to determine where the problems have their Cause have. It is not always obvious at first glance what is triggering the complaints. Headaches, for example, can be caused by a lack of lighting. Back pain often has to do with the incorrect setup of the workplace. The person in charge of health management or the company doctor can support you in finding the cause.
Step 2: Know your rights
The areas for the protection of workers have been decided in various laws. In addition to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Occupational Safety Act, there are Regulations to hazardous substances, load handling, VDU work, etc. – The changed position relieves the back, shoulders and neck and boosts circulation. For example, the employee can be reimbursed for the cost of glasses prescribed by an ophthalmologist for VDU work.
Step 3 and 4: Talk it up! Communication as a basis for problem solving
The most important thing to improve working conditions is to communicate with your supervisor. Often this only becomes aware of the problems through a frank conversation. Make it clear to your employer that a healthy workplace is important for your health Satisfaction and Well-being the employee is of great importance. People who feel good at work enjoy doing their jobs and are passionate about them, are less likely to fall ill and are more productive. Finally, this is also advantageous for the employer.
The cooperation of both parties on a joint solution forms the basis for a trusting working relationship. If the employer objects to a health-promoting measure, employees can insist on their rights.