Identification of Physical Environment Risk Factors

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Identification of physical environment Risk factors

The identification of physical and environmental risk factors includes the identification of sound and noise, vibration, climate, lighting, air quality, and their influence on work performance. All these physical and environmental characters can cause problems to the worker with diseases leading to absenteeism and poor work performances. “The Health and Safety Act 1992 in section 28 provide every employee to refuse to do work in the employee believes that the work that the employee is required to perform is likely to harm to him or her” (Health and safety in employment act 1992, 1992, p.55).

Physical environmental effects

It is the duty of the industrial work organization psychologist to find out the physical and environmental factors that affect the work performances. They are explained briefly under Section 2(4) of The Health and Safety Act 1992 in which the following problems are considered as serious harm “Any of the following conditions that amount to or results in permanent loss of bodily function, or temporary severe loss of bodily function: respiratory disease, noise-induced hearing loss, dermatological disease, communicable disease, musculoskeletal disease, illness caused by exposure to infected material, decompression sickness, poisoning, vision impairment, chemical or hot-metal burn of eye, penetrating wound of eye, bone fracture, laceration, crushing, Loss of consciousness from lack of oxygen etc.,” (Health and safety in employment act 1992, 1992, p.66).

Effects of sound and noise

Simply we can say that Noise is the unwanted sound in the work area. The major source of beauty therapy comes out of the vibration sound of the machines. “Noise is sound which bears no informational relationship to the immediate task” (Lobb, 2009, Lecture 8, p.2). Maximum safe daily noise dose over an 8 hour working day should be less than 90 dB(A)

Source sound level dB(A) Result
Whisper 20
Conversation 60
Crowded room 75
Lawn mover 100
Hydraulic or pneumatic Jackhammer 115-120
Jet Engine @30 meters 130 Ouch
Anything louder 140 Damage

Sound pressure level table Lec. pdf customer provided.

Effects of vibration

The vibration of the mechanical instrument used in the work area can affect work performance. The manual handling of vibrating instruments can cause musculoskeletal injury. The skin therapist always uses the Vibrating hardwires such as the hair cutting machine, face drying machine, massage instruments etc that may cause the above-mentioned problem. The Vibration can cause serious harm to the worker.Manual handling is Any activity requiring a person to interact with their environment and use any part of their muscles or skeletal system to lift, lower, push, pull, carry, throw, move, restrain or hold any animate, or inanimate, object” (Code of practice for manual handling, 2001, p.8).

Effects of climate

A human can cope up with various atmospheric conditions such as arctic, desert, and humid jungle. But the climate affects the performance of a worker. The effects of climate on performance depend upon the requirements of the work, characteristics of the thermal environment, and characteristic of the worker climate. The skin therapist work in a room that is mostly air-conditioned.

Effects of lighting

The need for sufficient light to the cone cells of the retina is essential to see an object clearly. The skin therapist performs the work by placing the instruments very near to her eye, causing a visual work load. “To focus on near objects, a muscle which holds the lens in place contracts and to focus on distant objects, muscle relaxes usual workload is greater when viewing near objects it can be reduced by refocusing on a distant object every few seconds” (Lobb, 2009, Lecture 7, p.3). The workers need to move to other parts of the system to deal with the subsystems. The lighting in these places is different. In the skin therapy area; sometime, there is a chance of direct light to fall up on the skin therapist.

Effects of the air quality

The therapeutic industry is an area where extreme cleanliness is needed. So the cleanliness also can affect the work performance of the employee. “Airborne dusts are of particular concern because they are associated with classical widespread occupational lung diseases such as the pneumoconiosis, as well as with systemic intoxications such as lead poisoning, especially at higher levels of exposure” (Occupational health: Hazard preventing and control in the work environment: Airborne dust (WHO, 1999), 1999, para.1).

Time spent by the skin therapist at each position

Positions Time Spent
Reception 30m
Waiting Room 30m
Washing Area 30m
Mirror 1 5hrs
Mirror 2 10m
Mirror 3 10m
Mirror 4 10m
Total 7hrs

Equipments Used

The equipments used in the therapeutic organization are:

  • Towels and disposable sheets
  • Machines for skincare in each room of skin therapy
  • Beds and chairs
  • Sofas and chairs in the waiting area
  • Various kinds of cosmetics including creams used according to customer’s skin type
  • Stereo and music CDs
  • TV and magazines in the waiting area
  • Water purifiers and instant coffees, teabags, cups and disposable spoons in the waiting area as well as in the staff room

Subjective discomfort questionnaire

Subjective discomfort about the physical and environmental risk factors (closed end Questionnaire)

  • Do you feel that the physical and environmental conditions are good?
    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you fell that your work performance can be improved if the physical environment is developed?
    • Yes
    • No
  • Dou you have discomfort in the sound and noise experienced in the work environment?
    • Yes
    • No
  • Will vibrations created by the machines are unhealthy with the risk of injury?
    • Yes
    • No
  • Is the climate in the work place comfortable?
    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you feel that the lightning in the work area is harmful?
    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you feel that the work area has got ample air circulation?
    • Yes
    • No
  • Is the Aesthetic quality of the work area good?
    • Yes
    • No

Result of the environmental analysis

Physical environmental effects Hypothetical results Status
a. Effects of sound and noise <70db(A) Good
b. Effects of vibration Less manual handling Good
c. Effects of climate Air conditioned Satisfactory
d. Effects of lighting Arranged by the norms Good
e. Effects of air quality Air-conditioned satisfactory


  1. The Skin therapist always looks at the closed object i.e., the face of the client. The visual workload of the worker cane be reduced by refocusing on a distant object on every few seconds
  2. The eye vision of every worker must be tested first act it must be corrected if it is defective. It is because the if the defective vision is not corrected the performance of the worker may impaired, the visual fatigue may increased and the postural stress such as aches and pains may increase it can further cause potentially injury. The skin therapist always gives stress on focusing the object where the treatment is provided. Here if she is having any visual problems then it should be corrected with the appropriate lenses
  3. The aesthetic quality of the work is to be improved. This will help to reduce the mental stress. The Music and the aesthetic design of the Beauty therapy must be focused for it.

Communication between Workers

Psychosocial factors that may affect performance health comfort or safety of the employees are stress, burnout and dissatisfaction with regard to the jobs, lack of mutual communication, mutual understanding, collectivism etc, are usually found in the organizations. These psychosocial and organizational factors affect the communication process badly. Stress is the most psychological problem observed with the skin therapist.

She is not able to fulfill her responsibility according to the expectation of the organization. Lack of mutual understanding between the workers is also one of the social problems in the organization. “One of the key factors of successful business operation is well-thought staff communication system” (Co workers communication, 2008, para.5). This is one of the organizational problems found among the staff. When the number of customers is high on the queue, there is no proper communication to solve this problem. There is no shared interest among the staff. This makes the skin therapist worry and she speeds up her work.

The organization expects from her a lot to do in such a situation and this is the cause of stress in her. There are psychosocial factors that increase the communication gap in thee organization.. “The personal factors include stress, burnout, dissatisfaction, motivation, and control over work. Social factors include interrelationships among workers, such as collectivism, role ambiguity, discord, and support” (Hickman, et al., 2003, para.16).

Psychosocial problems which are found in this organization that makes communication gap are:

  • Stress
  • Lack of mutual understanding among the workers
  • Lack of cooperation among the workers
  • Lack of division of labor
  • Unwillingness to change

Common Communication between Workers during the Day

Communication happens among the staff but there is no proper communication to enhance the well being of the organization. Some people are found who do not communicate with someone whom they do not like. The whole service is shared by many of the workers. Since there is no mutual understanding, it results in various internal issues in the organization. A team work is required to unravel the barriers of communication and for the designing of the role of every employee. Therefore, the proper communication must be enhanced in the organization to maximize the production of the employees in the organization. Identifying the gang members who are working together is the best way to design the work role accordingly. Gang members here mean the people who are more closed and have a tendency to speak personal matters.

System modal and effects of team communication are criticality, inputs and outputs, criteria for completion/ signals for commencement, timing and fault diagnosis. “Simulink models are much easier to understand than C code,” says Hägnander. “You get a better understanding of what you and your teammates are developing—especially when you can see the models execute through simulation” (GM Engineering Europe develops HVAC controller for GM vehicles using model-based design, 2009, p.2). A team resource management is required for better communication and to enhance the performance of other employees. It includes the various elements such as stress reduction, proper decision making, right communication, providing situational awareness, consequence and impact of new automation, team roles and team works.

Team resource management


  • Implementation of a system model for proper communication
  • Stress management
  • Proper designing of role of each worker
  • Team work
  • Team building

The Mental Work Load of the Skin Therapist

Measuring the work load and the mental workload of the skin therapist for a given sub task clinics prepared can be measured with four types of measures such as the physiological task , primary task, secondary task, and subjective task. The measurement of the mental work load of the skin therapist is done with NASA TLX index. The time taken to the skin therapy of the patient is the time required for the task to perform and the actual time taken to perform the given task by the work.

Tasks Mental Physical Temporal
Demand Demand Demand Performance Effort Frustration
3.5 Task A 20 45 85 65 50 80
3.6 Task B 25 50 75 60 65 80
3.7 Task C 20 40 60 55 70 50
3.3 task D 30 60 45 70 75 70
3.4 Task E 20 50 30 60 70 70
Mental Physical Temporal
Tasks Demand Demand Demand Performance Effort Frustration Total
3.5 Task A 1 2 5 4 0 3 15
3.6 Task B 5 0 4 3 1 2 15
3.7 Task C 0 5 1 3 4 2 15
3.3 task D 5 0 2 4 1 3 15
3.4 Task E 2 4 3 5 0 1 15
Adjusted Rating
Mental Physical Temporal Weighted
Tasks Demand Demand Demand Performance Effort Frustration Total Rating
20 90 425 260 0 240 1035 69
125 0 300 180 65 160 830 55.33
0 200 60 165 280 100 805 53.66
150 0 90 280 75 210 805 53.66
40 200 90 300 0 70 700 46.66
335 490 965 1185 420 780 4175 278.33

Information Processing

The information processing is required at the initial level of the clinics prepared for the skin therapy. The therapist needs to mentally process the course of therapy with the available information.

Errors that May Result

Errors and accident means an unexpected, unintentional and unavoidable event which is responsible for the damage of person/ property or failure of goal. Normally, in the beauty therapy exposure to creams in the eye can cause failure in the goal in the required time. The continuous exposure to the magnifying lenses can cause irritation and itching in the eye. The frequent application of the cosmetics can also cause dermatological problems of the worker.

Errors and Accidents from the Job Requirements

The skin therapist needs to concentrate more on the precise work. The focusing on the near object can cause visual problems to the worker. The sustainable postures such as stretching of hand and bending of back born may cause musculoskeletal problems. The use of vibrating machines for massaging and other process can also cause these problems. The skin therapist deals with the treatment of the skin of the client where the worker can be infected by any communicable or non-communicable skin diseases.

Legal Obligations

The legal obligation to skin therapy is met in the therapeutic center itself.


The skin therapist is working with the Skin of the patient hence there is a chance of infecting if there is any skin problem of the client. The worker must be provided with sufficient precautions and preventing measures of communicable and dermatological diseases. The worker is given sufficient time to achieve the task. The feed back session from the worker can also help very much to reduce the consequences of these errors and accidents.

Reference List

Code of practice for manual handling. (2001). Department of Labour. Web.

Co workers communication. (2008). Soft Land Mark. Web.

GM Engineering Europe develops HVAC controller for GM vehicles using model-based design. (2009). User Story. Web.

Health and safety in employment act 1992. (1992). Department of Labour. Web.

Hickman, D. H., et al. (2003). The effect of health care working conditions on patient safely: Chapter 1: Introduction. National Library of Medicine. Web.

Lobb, B. Dr. (2009). Psych 322 industrial work and organizational psychology: Lecture 7: Job/work analysis: The working environment: Lightning, noise, climate. (provided by the customer).

Lobb, B. Dr. (2009). Psych 322 industrial work and organizational psychology: Lecture 8: Job/work analysis: The working environment: Noise, climate. (provided by the customer).

Occupational health: Hazard preventing and control in the work environment: Airborne dust (WHO, 1999). World Health Organization. Web.

TRM. (2009). Sky Brary. Web.

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