With any physical job, including one that includes long hours in front of a computer screen, it is essential that employers and employees work together to ensure that health and safety are maintained.
At CBC/Radio-Canada, staff who work at computers for more than 3.5 hours per day, handle heavy material or operate cameras are required to undergo training to avoid injuries. Much of the training is delivered to employees online.
For those at computers, the Corporation provides a narrated, interactive online workshop developed by CBC/Radio-Canada. Since 2011, more than 3,000 employees have completed the workshop, in an effort to stay well and reduce any discomfort in their work environment. After the mandatory session, employees can return to the online workshop at any time to refine their physical set-up. In addition to the workshop, keyboard shortcuts are offered, as well as stretching exercises to help keep employees limbre during their workday. There are also illustrations of how to adjust workstation desks with or without keyboard trays. After training, employees can consult a chart of physical symptoms and matching simple, practical solutions for reducing problems at the computer, including those presenting visual fatigue, discomfort in the neck area, trapezius muscles and shoulders, elbows and forearms, wrists, back, and legs.
Employees regularly handling or carrying material heavier than 10 kg. also have mandatory training to alert them to potential risks and help them prevent backache. Following the narrated workshop, employees are invited to use specific warm-up exercises and safe handling techniques each day, and to practice flexibility and muscle strength exercises at frequent times during their workweek. Since 2011, 500 employees have taken this course.
Camera operators are also expected to undergo training to learn how to prevent or mitigate any musculoskeletal disorders that can be associated with their jobs. These employees use the same exercise routines provided for those carrying heavy material. About 350 employees have received this training since 2011.
The Corporation also offers ergonomic assessments and, where warranted, assistance and accommodation. Over the years, our experts have solved numerous problems for employees, such as those related to musculoskeletal disorders, but also to headaches, migraines and eyestrain, all of which can interfere with good job performance. Here are some examples. One of our employees, who had suffered neck pains for years, had been diagnosed by her doctor as having osteoarthritis; ergonomic assessment and advice for better posture have now completely alleviated her neck pain. Another employee, who was physically uncomfortable because his 6’5” frame was not easily accommodated in a typical chair, was provided with a chair constructed with the seat of one chair and the backrest of another. Problem solved. In a third example, our ergonomist worked with CBC’s media engineering services to design an ideal control room that would assist employees to do their jobs in a healthy way — it included deeper work surfaces, monitors at reduced heights and chairs with higher backrests.
The purpose of CBC/Radio-Canada’s ergonomic program is the prevent injuries, first and foremost, and, where necessary, to mitigate or solve any issues. As our strategy, 2015: Everyone, Every way, says: People are the Corporation’s greatest asset, and they are the foundation of our success. We count on them for their creativity and have a responsibility to help them stay healthy and safe, so that they can continue to deliver their best to Canadians.