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Good Ergonomics For Dispatchers

30 SEP 2013
Career Path : Apprenticeships

As a dispatcher, you will have the luxury of staying inside – and seated – all day while others do the nitty-gritty work, mostly out of the home location. You get to stay in and hold down the fort, so to speak.

However, there is a downside to staying seated for pretty much your entire shift. If your chair and working posture is not ergonomically sound, there will be a whole slew of short and long term consequences that you will definitely want to avoid. Fortunately, there is a way to minimize these consequences with proper ergonomics.

The Consequences of Improper Ergonomics

Whether you are in charge of dispatchers or you are a dispatcher yourself, it is hugely important to ensure that the ergonomics of the furniture where you or your dispatchers will be spending their shift is sound.

Ergonomics affect posture, which affects overall health in a number of ways. Some of the consequences of a poor ergonomic environment for dispatchers include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Painful muscle cramps
  • Diminished eyesight
  • Tendinitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • DeQuervain’s Disease
  • Other repetitive strain injuries
  • Various lower back problems

The negative impacts of a bad ergonomic environment are bad news for not only the dispatchers who are immediately effected but the entire workplace as well, as the dispatcher plays an extremely important role in ensuring that the business functions properly. This advice should be included as part of dispatcher training, ideally from day one.

Tips for Good Ergonomics

Ergonomics is a complex subject, and the implementation of good ergonomics in the workplace is a skill which can be learned as part of a comprehensive education. However, these are some of the basics of proper posture and ergonomics:

  • The top of any monitor or screen should be just at eye level – or very slightly below.
  • The monitor should be positioned so you do not have to turn your head to see it.
  • An adjustable chair is a must, especially if different dispatchers will be using the same chair.
  • While working take occasional breaks to stand up and stretch.
  • Try sitting up straight and distributing your weight evenly when in a chair – however, staying in one position for too long can cause fatigue, you can alternate by sporadically leaning forward slightly.
  • While good posture is important, “overdoing it” by becoming rigid and unnatural is not conducive to overall comfort and health. It might take practice, but relaxation is also key to good ergonomics.

These are just some guidelines for good ergonomics and posture. There is a lot of work involved in the world of dispatching and dispatcher training, as well as automotive careers in general, and having to worry about something like ergonomics might seem like an unnecessary stress. However, the prevention of injuries and other problems down the road – and a healthy, happy career – make good ergonomics more than worth it.


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