Ensuring health and safety for employees who use a computer - checklist

Ensuring health and safety for employees using a computer - checklistIf your employees use computers for work purposes you must assess the risks posed by the work and take steps to minimise the risks.

  • Include computer workstations and employees who work with computers in your overall health and safety risk assessment process.
  • Ensure that your assessment includes all computer users, including homeworkers; consider visiting home offices or asking for self-assessments.
  • Check that furniture is comfortable and suitable: for example, an adjustable chair and a desk with adequate space.
  • Provide suitable computer equipment that can be used without straining: for example, a large, clear and adjustable display screen.
  • Assess and control the risks associated with the use of mobile equipment (such as tablets and laptops): for example, by providing lightweight computers and training in manual handling. Consider whether the provision of such equipment places employees at greater risk of assault and robbery.
  • Ensure that there is adequate lighting, while at the same time the screen is free from glare.
  • Check other aspects of the working environment: for example, temperature, humidity and noise.
  • Look at what job is being done, and how different tasks affect the computer user: for example, repetitive data entry.
  • Take into account any special needs individuals may have.
  • Train employees to understand the health and safety risks and how they can look after themselves.
  • Make sure that employees know how to adjust and use their workstation so that they have the right posture and technique.
  • Ensure users take regular breaks away from the computer: for example, by spending time working on other tasks, or taking rest breaks.
  • Provide eye tests on request; if necessary, provide glasses to users who need them for working at their computers.
  • Look out for symptoms of computer-related problems, such as headaches, back ache, repetitive strain injury or other upper limb disorders.
  • Involve employees in health and safety: for example, ask them to assess their own workstations, and to report any health problems.

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