3.4: Safety Guidelines For Workstations
- Ensure that workstations are adjusted to meet the needs of the user.
- Provide for adequate leg-room of 7 to 15 cm from the top of the user’s thigh to the desk surface.
- Cut back on office noise by covering noisy printers and turning down ringers on phones, fax machines, network servers and people’s personal wireless devices.
- Glare and intense lighting are not always easy to eliminate and can cause eyestrain and headaches. Sometimes turning off the overhead fluorescent lighting and providing surface lighting will help, or move the computer monitor to another location to avoid direct glare from windows or overhead lighting or try an anti-glare screen. The body should be in the following position when using a computer:
- Wrists straight.
- Forearms supported.
- Back supported.
- Forearms parallel to the floor.
- Thighs parallel to the floor.
- Feet on the floor or a foot rest.
- The height of the work surface is an important aspect of a good ergonomic workstation.
The computer work surface should adhere to the following guidelines:
- The proper height for a computer work surface is about 7 to 10 cm lower than the average writing desk.
- The work surface should be positioned so that the user’s forearms are parallel to the floor. The user’s elbow should make an angle of between 90 and 110 degrees.
- The work surface should be positioned so that the user’s forearms are supported a minimum of 15 cm.
- The work surface should be positioned so that the user’s wrists can be straight and neutral. Wrists bent in any direction (up, down, left, or right) may lead to discomfort and eventually injury.
Position the computer monitor according to these guidelines:
Place the monitor directly in front of the user. Don’t position the monitor where the user would have to twist his/her neck.
Storage and care of repair and maintenance tools
Every facility needs tools to carry out repair and maintenance functions. These tools can range from simple hand tools to power generators used in an emergency. All tools are effective when used properly. Most tools can be a safety hazard if they are not used, stored and maintained in the proper manner.