Pretty well any time you buy new business equipment, you need to produce a new risk assessment. Work stations, which comprise equipment such as desks, chairs, monitors and other display screens, are no exception.
Changes in Screen Technology
Display screen equipment has seen exceptional technological development in recent years. Gone are the fat, bulky monitors that used to adorn our desks and take up so much space. Flat screens are the norm, and even these can mean change of posture for the users or more strain on the eyes because the screen is further back on the desk.
Stand-up desks have also been recommended by Public Health England, because it’s not so good for people to sit at a desk for a whole day, as many workers have been used to doing. Desks can be at variable heights these days, and how they should be used is important for your well-being and productivity, and that of your staff.
In some fields it’s common to have wide format screens, with a number of applications on show at the same time. Similarly, people can work with multiple screens, but they have to be further from them so they can see everything without having to keep turning around. How might that affect the eyes, or put greater strain on the neck or back?
Changes in Communication Technology
Laptops are also a feature of the modern office, but they can be much more difficult to use comfortably over long periods of time. Your risk assessments will need to cover how to mitigate the problems with connected keyboards and mice; you can even connect a larger separate display screen if it helps.
Do you allow your staff to bring their own devices to use at work? Perhaps you supply them with a mobile or a tablet for personal as well as business use. When you use a touch screen device, you are just as much at risk of repetitive strain injury as anyone using a keyboard.
If your risk assessments don’t take all these eventualities on board, it’s high time to review and update them. If you need help for this, your local bookkeepers may be able to assist, or point you towards appropriate professional help.