Steve: You haven't moved from your desk for about five hours Mike.
Mike: Tell me about it! I have two submissions due by 4PM today and I am way behind.
Steve: I know that the reports are vital, but so is your health.
Mike: My health is fine - I haven't had the flu at all this year.
Steve: But what about your eyes and hands?
Mike: They feel fine. Why are you asking about my eyes and hands?
Steve: The HR department says that we should take a break for five minutes every hour to rest our eyes from staring at the computer and our hands from typing.
Mike: Really? I didn't know that.
Steve: Listen up and I will lecture you about OH&S.
1) Occupational Health and Safety: usually known as OH&S, it covers everything to do with the safety and health of staff
ex:My company pays a lot of attention to the OH&S laws so that all staff are safe.
2) Submissions: formal reports
ex:Submissions are very important because they are often used by senior management to make key decisions.
3) Vital: very important
ex:Coffee is vital to me in the morning - I cannot function without it!
4) Flu: short for influenza
ex:I hate it when I catch the flu because my nose is running and my throat gets very sore.
Before Occupational Health and Safety laws, most companies paid little attention to the health and safety of their staff. The laws punish companies severely if an employee hurts themselves at work if the company did not do everything they could to make the workplace safe.
OH&S is a responsibility of the HR department. The HR department should have a written OH&S policy that all staff should be told about when they join the company.
If you work with computers, you should rest your eyes and hands for at least five minutes each hour. If you don't, you could damage your eyes and develop a problem called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in your wrists.
For people who have to lift heavy things, the company should show you how to lift properly so that you don't injure your back. Pay close attention to OH&S policies to protect yourself from serious injury at work.
OH&S also involves having a comfortable chair and proper desk to work at as well as having a good keyboard if you do a lot of typing.
Remember, work is important, but your health is even more important!
Beth: Sally, will you check these new OH&S posters for me before I put them up?
Sally: Of course I will. You know that I love teamwork!
Beth: I think that OH&S is so important that I have made some posters for the office walls to remind people to take a break every hour.
Sally: That's a great idea Beth. I wish that I had thought of it!
Beth: I got the idea because I often get a headache from staring at my computer for too long.
Sally: And you think that taking a short break every hour can help?
Beth: I know it can. If I get up and have a short break every hour, I feel better and am more efficient.
Sally: Well you have taught me something new today. I will try to put your ideas into practice.
Beth: We can take our breaks together and practice English while we relax.
Sally: That's the best idea I have heard today!