In the last weeks, two important well expected Mexican Official Standards come into force to encourage skills, productivity, and Mexican workers’ safety. A NOM is a Mexican Official Standard is a set of technical regulations of mandatory observance, issued by the corresponding offices, aiming to establish the characteristics process have to have when these can constitute a risk in people’s safety or damage human health, physical as well as psychologically.
Although we already had knowledge of this NOM’s many times their arrival causes concern in companies and employers due to their implementation costs, what this could imply in their processes, for sanctions and this time, besides, all the misinformation generated on social networks due to the lack of knowledge and superficiality with which this subject has been managed.
Undoubtedly these two standards will improve the work environment, eliminate risk factors that could damage workers in their mental health as well as in their physical health and integrity, which definitively will bring us an increase in productivity, products quality, which is already excellent, and in our enthusiastic workers' safety. And the best is that our process efficiency will improve without high investments.
It is truly an excellent opportunity not only of removing workers’ stress, as we all suffer stress and this is not only of labor kind, it mostly comes from surrounding situations being lived where everyday situations affect…economic, political, social, family, not only from work but if it can be identified and controlled in the company, what will be improved is productivity, quality, and workers' safety. Basically what the standard is asking for is a staggered implementation, where it gives us a year to apply surveys to workers, simple, clear and well-intentioned where specific questions are asked such as how the employee feels at work, it is also to create a commitment or employer’s policy, do a results analysis and based on that propose a specific action plan, with people responsible and end date of each action attacking those psychophysiological stress producers most serious risks of stress that have detected and which have to be integrated and be enforced on October 23rd, 2020, attaching to the Health and Safety Annual Plan established by NOM-030-STPS of Preventive Health and Safety Services at work. The truth is that this standard is so noble and easy to fulfill that through the improvement achieved based on workers and middle managers training to improve the work environment, will be more beneficial, building more harmonious work centers, more and better communicated internally, more oriented to productivity and to exceed in quality and service, a better and happier work environment, as other cultures have done!
This new standard published exactly a month after the other one and which enforcement is also in October, it is about Ergonomic Risk Factors at work. Identification, Analysis, Prevention, and Control. Manual Management of Loads. It is also well expected, this standard is about factors in companies that cause SKELETAL MUSCLE INJURIES at work due to repetitive movements and strength application, without implying that all movements we do are considered repetitive, as pauses made between one process and another are taken into account, in different activities of the operation, pauses to eat, among others. Of everything we expected from this standard, only the first part was managed which belongs to the activities where only manual management of leads is done, call it to carry, push, pull, and raise…move loads!
In this standard they request us to fulfill a MAP of operations and places in the company where manual management of loads is mainly done, this means, identify in which parts we do this, which are the characteristics of those places, which are and how much loads moved by workers weight and enlist those at the limit or that exceed the maximum permissible weights mentioned by this NOM.
These already detected and enlisted operations must be analyzed with some specific tools, which will allow us assessing risks and in its case propose improvements in the process where loads management outs on the risk the health and integrity of workers. And as a result, identify and control this will improve not only the safety but the quality and productivity of these processes! Sometimes with minimal investment and others where investment is refundable in a short time! Many arrangements are those called Quick Fix, which are quick and economic!
Mexico before the world!
And the truth is that what we are doing has already being done in many countries. And they have done well…big economies have taken decisions intended to improve the environment, safety and wellbeing of workers, improving efficiency and quality of products and processes, Germany announced a couple of months ago the reduction of their work hours to 4 days a week, Japan just announced some weeks ago the reduction of their labor hours also to 4 days and the implementation of EMPATHY as a mandatory subject! We are still far behind to reach that, but the important thing is that we are on the path that we are working all together to fulfill and have better companies in Mexico, companies where work is done on a better environment, with more training, removing unnecessary stress from our processes and building happier companies together to benefit us all!
Dr. Gerardo Garcia Gonzalez, Director of Sinergia Ocupacional.
“25 years working on Health and Safety at work, Human Development and Ludic Training”