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Developing Testable Requirements

I have previously written about the importance of having requirements in the blog ‘Requirements – do you have your shopping list ready’. Without a list of requirements, the consumer is likely to end up with some items/features they did not need, while missing some items/features they did need. Having a list is a good starting point, but having a testable set of requirements will lead you to success.
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Job Coaching—What is it and how can it help?

Job Coaching—What is it and how can it help?
​Job coaching is on-the-job guidance and instruction that can assist a person to return to work successfully and in a sustainable fashion after illness or injury. What is involved in job coaching? Prior to providing job coaching as much information about the job itself and the worker involved is reviewed in preparation for the job coaching session. If possible a job duties analysis (JDA) should be made available to identify the tasks that need coaching and possible modification. (Another good reason to have JDAs completed for every job.) Once on site a detailed ergonomic assessment of the environment and the work practices of the individual is conducted to identify barriers to a safe return to work. Any barriers identified are addressed by coaching safe work practices and by making recommendations for environmental changes. Administrative changes to work practice alone is not always enough to produce a sustainable return to work. Sometimes the environment and aspects of the job need to be changed too. Job coaching should also integrate the graduated return to work by reviewing the graduations in hours and job duties with the worker to ensure that they are on the same page as the employer and medical providers. A thorough job coaching session can take several hours and should occur as close as possible to the worker’s first day back to work.
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Psst…can we talk? Mental health in the workplace and initiating change

​Mental health problems or illness is one of the top three drivers leading to short or long term disability claims in Canada, according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental health issues in the workplace needs to be a top priority for all. Learn to recognize signs of mental illness in a co-worker, friend or even yourself with these helpful tips.
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Ergonomist: Through the Looking Glass

Ergonomist: Through the Looking Glass
Amy is the Marketing Manager at EWI works and recently interviewed Professional Ergonomist Catherine Smallman. Catherine has been specializing in the field of ergonomics for 6 years and has worked at EWI Works for over 3 years. Amy has the inside scoop on the ergonomics industry from Catherine. Read more about their conversation below.
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Innovative Solutions

Sometimes the most obvious solutions do not work, requiring the ergonomist to use innovative solutions and to think ‘outside the box’. This happened this past week when I went out on a site visit to meet with a receptionist who worked in an open space with a large skylight located overhead. She was reporting symptoms of severe eye strain; red, sore, and painful eyes with blurry vision. This was because from 10:15 to 12:15 large amounts of light entered through the skylight located above her workstation creating large amounts of indirect and direct glare.
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How your computer’s display settings may influence your back and neck:

How your computer’s display settings may influence your back and neck:
​A modern office workplace is typically equipped with a highly adjustable ergonomics furniture. Adjustments to the chair and work surface height and training on proper ergonomic postures has been shown to reduce discomfort and risk of musculoskeletal issues (1). Yet, despite investment in adjustable ergonomics office chairs and work surfaces, it has become very common for office workers to continue to report neck and back discomfort. To address these issues we need to consider factors beyond the furniture type and set-up. Specifically, we need to look at the display properties for your computer and monitor.
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Stability Balls, Exercise Balls and ‘Fitness Orbs’ in the Office

Using stability balls in place of an office chair is common in many offices. As Ergonomists, we are often approached by employers to provide advice and policies regarding whether stability balls should be used for seating in the office. This week on the blog, we have decided to outline our view on this topic. We review the importance of certain office chair features, and the corresponding concerns we have over prolonged use of stability balls.

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Tablets and the Workplace

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