[Letters]Taking a break for safety’s sake

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[Letters]Taking a break for safety’s sake

Right now, the lives of workers in this country are under threat due to poor safety conditions. Creating a safe and secure business environment are two of the most important issues facing employers.

Stories of people falling from high places, tripping and injuring themselves or getting crushed by machines are not the only threats. Electromagnetic pollution, which has been described as a serious killer in the office, is actually quite hazardous.

People who work indoors with electrical appliances such as computers, copy machines and fluorescent desk lamps are exposed to electromagnetic fields and electromagnetic radiation.

Working Koreans spend about 2,000 hours a year in the workplace. Not surprisingly, all of these hours can take a toll on your eyes, back, arms and neck.

Exposure to adverse working conditions like electromagnetic pollution can result in momentary pain or long-term injury. Moreover, poorly designed working environments contribute to reduced efficiency, decreased production, loss of income, increased medical claims and permanent disability.

Experts stress that office workers should take protective measures. Employees should take a break away from office equipment every hour or two. This allows the body to repair the damage caused by the electromagnetic radiation or waves. Lengthy and repeated exposure can lead to diseases over time.

Job satisfaction and a guarantee of a safe workplace motivate employees to increase efficiency. If employers want to achieve organizational effectiveness, they should appeal to workers first.

Therefore, those workers who are aware of their right to an employer-paid eye exam and to take a break from office equipment must speak up. Workers have the right to pursue job safety.

Unfortunately, as long as there is a perception that safety measures increase costs, our workplaces will never be safe. People in companies have to adopt a less blinded mind set and think of safety as an investment.

Providing 10 to 20 minutes of break time to workers makes the workplace a happy, less stressful place, which will boost productivity.

Lee Min-jung, Hanyang University, Ansan
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