The use of computers in the office is associated with a variety of health hazards. The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has a number of VDU guidelines that employers must adhere to in the workplace. You can see the original document, but we have compiled a list of key points from the guidelines below.
What Should You Know About Computers and Work Safety?
Computer work is associated with many health risks, including but not limited to. Here are some of the following health hazards.
1# Visually Demanding
When computer tasks last more than two hours a day, they are considered visually demanding and therefore affect a person’s health and safety. Eye strain, burning, sore and irritated eyes, blurred vision, changes in colour perception, fatigue, headaches, migraines and nausea. While these symptoms are annoying, they are directly related to the operation of the computer and have no long-term adverse effects.
2# Musculo-Skeletal Difficulties
Holding muscles in one position for too long. An example of this would be a person who is sitting in one position (e.g., at the computer) for an extended period of time and this can result in abnormal use of the muscles and cause significant pain and injury.
Muscle problems usually occur in the back, neck and head areas and are known as occupational overload syndrome.
According to statistics, 18% of employees experience work-related stress most of the time. 66.7% feel part time stressed. 1/4 of workers take stress related vacations each year. Stress is induced by computerized work programs that monitor employee performance and percentage programs are related to the development of high-stress stress.
4# Chemical Exposure
Laser Printer Concerns are found to be releasing ozone gas. Very low ozone concentrations can irritate the eyes, nose and throat. Another similar compound is toner powder, which can become airborne when you replace cartridges. All employees should have access to the safety data sheets containing this information.
5# Noise Exposure
While loud sounds can cause temporary deafness, prolonged exposure can cause permanent hearing damage. Australian law ensures that employees must have a workplace that is free from “excessive noise” and comply with exposure regulations. When your workplace is excessively noisy and becomes a source of stress. For yourself, chat with your security officer or manager.
What is OHS in CSS?
An OHS policy is simply a method of specifying how you, your employees, contractors, and visitors should behave on company premises or when performing company-related activities. Required by law to provide a “safe work system”.
But what is the importance of occupational safety? It is an employer’s duty and responsibility to keep work safe and OHS can help reduce illness, accidents and other situations by ensuring that its employees can work safely and healthily five days a week. Protect your employees to protect the company!
What are health and safety policies and procedures? The purpose of health and safety policies and procedures is to guide and direct. All employees are encouraged to work safely and avoid harming themselves and others. All employees are encouraged to participate in the development, implementation, and enforcement of health and safety policies and procedures.
How to Minimize Computer-Related OHS Hazards?
The ways to control or to reduce the risk of injury and illness in the workplace caused by computers are quite simple and consist of a hierarchy of controls. Let’s look at a few such methods.
The first option to control health and safety risks is to eliminate the hazard. Eliminating a dangerous process can be done by using non-computational methods to get tasks done when it is practical.
When complete elimination is not possible, the next control option is substitution with a more alternate screen-based work, for example, a replacement could be upgrading software packages to “more user-friendly” systems that offer easier and better control over working with larger text and images.
If control is inadequate after the best removal and replacement efforts, the next option is isolation. Isolation can be the location of noise, chemicals, or other hazards, either away from people doing screen work or in a separate location.
Engineering controls provide an additional level of control when a combination of removal, replacement, and isolation controls does not provide sufficient control. With regard to the screen-based working environment, technical controls can be applied to the level of 50 Hertz. To limit electromagnetic fields in the work environment by changing the phase of high voltage lines or protecting some mains power cables and electrical switch rooms.
Safe Work Practices
Safe Work Practices are administrative practices that require people to work more safely. Limiting the time, you spend on screen work can be considered a safe working method.
The Bottom Line
Hope this article helped you understand why limiting the screen-based work at your office is important. In order to be stress free and away from the problems, make sure you receive an updated OHS training along with all important information and courses.
Also, workplace environment with screens and computer-related work requires adequate training, lighting, proper air quality and normal workload, along with using the correct furniture. Let us know your feedback down in the comment section!