We’re used to answering questions and comments about office safety being a low risk environment to work in, here in our Hundred Acre world. While we agree that working in an office doesn’t have the same level of risk as a traditionally high risk environment, there are areas that shouldn’t be ignored.
One of the main risks for office-based personnel is using display screen equipment. There aren’t many of us who don’t use a computer for at least some of our workday, and while an average workstation has changed quite dramatically since the introduction of the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, the requirements for them haven’t.
Call centres and offices are often considered to be modern day sweat shops, with employees often chained to their desks as their roles are predominantly computer-based. Whether the member of staff is based in the office or working remotely, employers have the same requirements. The equipment they provide, the environment people work in, the software they use and the variety of tasks people a doing are a few of the things that should be looked at regularly.
It’s no secret that spending too much time sitting at a workstation is not good for your health. Health professionals worldwide all agree; a sedentary lifestyle has a big impact on your health in many ways. As occupational safety and health professionals, we’re often asked to help individuals who have a health concern, and sadly it’s too late for many. Poor posture, back and spine concerns are common; poor habits become just that and reversing them takes a long time.
“Some of my most productive admin days are when I have lots of other stuff to do too.” Says Bridget Gilmour, Hundred Acre’s founder and director. “It’s especially true on a sunny day, when I have to get on with household errands at the same time. In between running around the house, I get more work done as being active not sedentary makes a difference.”
There are countries where sit-stand desks are a legal requirement, and while that’s not something we see being introduced in the UK any time soon, there are options for making changes to your desk. A simple way to try this change is the Duo Desk. Richard Eaton invented the Duo Desk as he looked for a way to try moving about more in his own company, where they design apps. He shares his story on the DuoDesk website.
Whether you have a high turnover of new recruits to induct or you have a very low staff churn rate, your employees all deserve to go home in the same physical and mental state as they arrived to work in. We can help you with that.
If you’d like us to visit your place of work to carry out workstation assessments, or would like us to train your own staff so they can carry the assessments out themselves, please don’t hesitate to call us today on +44 (0)1933 201103 or contact us via our contact page. You might also like to read the material available on the HSE website for further information.