How to work safely at a computer
All jobs have elements of risks to your health. Some maybe more than others. Even working at a computer poses a risk on your health and well-being. The risk? Upper limb disorders (ULD’s) or repetitive strain injuries (RSI’s)
Now in order to reduce the risk of suffering from these problems, it is essential to understand how you get them in the first place.
ULD’s normally occur when you have a job which requires a lot of twisting movement, squeezing and stretching, pushing or pulling, lifting or any other repetitive finger, hand, arm or shoulder movement. They don’t only effect office and keyboard workers; any one of many jobs, which need manual work, can carry the risk of ULD’s.
So what can you do to help yourself? Firstly get comfortable, adjust your chair and your workstation position. As a rough guide your forearms should be level with your workstation and your eyes level with the top of the monitor. Make sure you have enough room to work with, and move documents, keyboards, mouse and stationery until you find your best arrangement. Also use footrest at their most comfortable level
Make sure you have enough under your desk as well to move your feet and legs when required. Avoid excess pressure to parts of your body, for instance don’t sit on the edge of your chair, and use the chair fully to support your whole weight.
Always try and find somewhere to rest your arms and hands when you are not typing or writing. A space in front of the keyboard is good. Every effort must be made to use light touches, if it doesn’t need pressing hard, don’t press hard!
Both you and your employer are responsible for stopping ULD’s. If you feel you require something to make your work less stressful on your muscles tell your employer and they should discuss the problem with you and how to resolve it.
Also see if there has been a risk assessment carried out at your work, if so what does it...