Health and safety for computer users - checklist

Woman struggling at her computer

If your employees use computers or mobile devices for work purposes, you must assess the risks posed by their work and the devices and take steps to minimise the risks.

  • Include computer workstations and employees who work use computers and mobile devices in your overall health and safety risk assessment process.
  • Ensure that your assessment includes all computer users, including homeworkers and mobile workers; consider visiting home offices or asking homeworkers to carry out a risk assessments on their workspace, equipment and working practices.
  • Check that furniture is comfortable and suitable: for example, an adjustable chair and a desk with adequate space.
  • Provide suitable computer equipment and accessories that can be used without straining: for example, a large, clear and adjustable display screen, ergonomic keyboards and mice.
  • 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 working techniques.
  • 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 ill health that might be caused by working with computers and associated equipment and devices, such as headaches, back ache, repetitive strain injury or other upper limb disorders.
  • Involve employees in health and safety risk assessments: for example, ask them to assess their own workstations, and to report any health problems.

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