Workstation Ergonomics Checklist
Work related health issues are extremely common as RSI affects around half a million people in the UK and four out of five people will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. Making sure the workstations in your office are ergonomic can have a dramatic effect on your employees health and their performance at work. Below is a handy checklist to help you ensure you have the key pieces of ergonomic equipment in your workplace and that your employees are sitting in a comfortable and safe position.
Computer tower units
Keep computer tower units off the floor and out of the way by fitting CPU holders under desks so your employees can benefit from more room. Keeping equipment out of the way will also prevent employees from accidentally damaging it.
The mouse and keyboard should be positioned so that employees don't have to overreach to be able to use them as this can put a strain on the upper back and arms.
hands and wrists should not rest on uncomfortable edges and padded wrist rests will provide a soft surface. Wrist rests can also be used to bring the wrists in line with the keyboard.
Install adjustable monitor stands to enable employees to easily move their monitors to the positions most suited for their eyesight and height. Reduce glare on monitors by fitting a glare filter which will filter out the sunlight that reaches the screen, making it easier to see. Adjustable monitor stands will also enable employees to move their monitors out of the sunlight.
Desks should be big enough to be able to easily hold everything your employees need to work with such as computer equipment, document holders, mouse and mouse mat and so on. There should also be enough room under the desks for employees to sit comfortably without banging their feet or shins on equipment. Document holders can help employees to keep their desk organised and uncluttered which can make the workstation much more comfortable.
Choose chairs which support the lower back to prevent lower back pain. Ensure the depth of the seat is suitable as if it's too deep then it could add pressure to the back of the legs but if it's too shallow then it could increase pressure on the lower back. Chairs with armrests can add extra support to the elbows but ensure the arm rests don';t restrict movement, for example by preventing employees from being able to get close enough to their desks.
The head, neck and torso should be upright and in-line so the whole body can face forwards without having to twist to be able to use equipment properly. Arms and elbows should also be in line with the torso to avoid leaning forward and putting a strain on the back and neck. Legs should be at right angles and if this isn't possible then consider using a foot rest or adjusting the chair into a better position.