While there is no way to prevent all injuries, there are many things you can do to avoid some of them.
Working Safely at the Computer
Check you workstation for the following:
- Is the top of the screen at eye level (slightly lower for bifocal wearers)?
- Is the screen approximately 60-90 cm away?
- Is the display on your screen sharp and steady?
- Is you field of view free from glare and reflections?
- Do you have a document holder so that documents are close to and level with the screen?
- Are documents properly lit?
- Are your wrists straight and horizontal to your work surface as you type?
- Do you have a padded wrist rest?
- Do you have enough knee clearance under the desk or table?
- Are your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest?
- Are your arms loose and comfortable at your sides and are your elbows at right angles as you type?
- Are you sitting back in your chair with your lower back well supported in its natural curve?
The right chair can help reduce sitting stress. If possible, your work chair should:
- Be fully height-adjustable.
- Swivel easily.
- Have 5 feet on casters.
- Have adjustable arm rests which do not interfere with your movements.
- Support the low back in its natural curve.
- Have a separately adjustable back.
- Have a seat with a rounded front edge.
There is a right way and a wrong way to lift, whether you lift heavy objects occasionally, or light objects repeatedly.
- Lift with your legs, not your back.
- Lift everything twice: once in your mind to visualize how you will do it, then actually do the lifting.
- Before picking up an object, make sure the place you want to put it is cleared and accessible.
- Lumbar support belts can be useful, just make sure that you don't become dependent on them.
- Know when an object is too heavy for you to safely lift alone and get help when needed.
Say NO to Stress
Good practices on and off the job will help keep you healthier and happier.
- Get enough sleep.
- Exercise regularly.
- See a doctor if you have persistent discomfort or physical problems.
- Stay limber and help prevent sore muscles and joints by doing stretching exercises.
To protect everyone's health and safety:
- Ventilate adequately; a smoke-free environment is best.
- Control noise, cover or isolate printers and other noisy equipment.
- Remove obstacles and tripping hazards, like open file drawers and equipment wires.
- Position workstations to prevent visual distractions.
Improper lighting can cause eye strain. Here are some tips:
- Lower lighting levels to reduce glare and improve screen contrast.
- Place your screen at a right angle to windows to avoid reflections and shadows.
- Sit with ceiling fluorescents parallel to your line of sight and to your side.
- Rest your eyes frequently by focusing on an object at least 20 feet away.
- Blink frequently so your eyes don't get dry.
- Get regular eye exams. Tell your eye doctor you work at a computer.