How seriously do you guys take the health and safety advice regarding sitting at a computer? I've been in this job for a number of years and have read all the advice and thought to myself (rather foolishly) "it'll never happen to me, I'm in my mid 20's!"
However, earlier this week, the pain in the hand started, meaning it was difficult to grab the mouse, door handles, any weighty objects etc. A few days in a tube bandage and resting my mouse hand by using my weak hand for the mouse and phone etc (took some getting used to let me tell you!) and I'm pretty much back to normal, with a little discomfort in the wrist - but it's hit me like a ton of bricks that I should probably sort myself out if I don't want this sort of issue to become more common and the effects worse...
I've ordered through the school a new keyboard (with better adjustment), a new sculpted mouse, and wrist rests for both keyboards and mice.
What do you guys tend to do? Are your monitors at eye height? Is your chair and table suitable heights etc? How seriously do you take the posture advice?
I have never had posture advice from the LA because they don't think about staff other than the admin staff who might be sitting at a desk all day.
Seriously - they just never think. They send out info about posture and "can we help" messages to admin but not to anyone else. I did get hold of a contact and I ended up with a footrest out of it but other than that..
We actually take it pretty seriously as a school now. One of our Governors has a H&S role in a large organisation and interviewed all the admin staff (including me) and assessed their working conditions.
My posture was terrible, mostly due to using a laptop and having a rickety old chair, but she insisted that the school provide me with a new PC with monitor at eye level and a very nice new chair with support in all the right places for my back.
Since then my back pain and headaches have got so much better
There was a tribunal where a member of staff with a back issue got signed off long term sick with her back issue due to SLT not addressing seating requirements, and was then dismissed over going on holiday (advised by her doctor) during the long term sick.
They found in favour of the staff member - obviously, but nothing has changed.
I've got standing desks here. Well we have worktops at a reasonable height to stand at and work. Then we have operator chairs for if we need to sit. Works wonderfully I think and gives us tons of storage space.
The HSE gave us a kicking over someone suffering from RSI. All "users", (and the hour mentioned above is simplistic) have to asses their workstation, are eligible for eye tests and glasses needed solely for workstation use. No pot of cash for remedial work, that is down to departmental budgets; I bought new desks for me & the side-kick.
From 9 to 5 for about two years, I was sitting on a stool with no backrest (the kind you get in school Science labs... in fact, that's where it was from) against a drawer unit with no space to shove the legs under in a converted prep room with no natural lighting and (over one summer) no air-con. Considering the state of me now I think it might have actually knackered my back, but I was too young and stupid to think it might be causing a problem at the time.
It's taken seriously at my school. When I joined, 8 years ago, it wasn't.
Within 12 months the old bursar had retired and we had recruited a H&S specialist whom came in one day aweek and shared my office. She rapidly picked up that I had had two operations for a prolapsed disk and I got the chair I wanted... actually it's not a fancy orthopaedic one. It is a proper office chair from Staples costing about £100, but we have one at home and I know it supports me in all the right places. The H&S person rapidly got rid of all the dodgy chairs and wrist rests were purchased for all those in need. Monitor height and position was also sorted, although to be fair, I had already been doing what I could for people aided by catalogues to stand them on!
That H&S person has retired now , but her replacement is just as good and posture is still taken seriously.
One thing I have noticed though is pain caused by used of mobile devices. I have to watch how I hold my hands when typing on my tablet. I had very bad pain in the knuckle of my left hand which I realised was due to my two-fingered tablet typing and the way I tensed the non-typing fingers to keep them clear of the screen! I have heard others complain of pain from typing on their phone screens a lot.
I was pointed to the DSE online training that is offered by our county, Its worth doing I think, I am in compliance for a lot of it already, though I was glad to know about the height of the monitors in relation to eyes and neck straing and the free eye test offer is also something worthwhile I discovered.
Though I think at some point in the future I will be pursuing a decent gel wrist rest set (I have 2 gel kensington ones I use at home, being very weary of RSI as a friend has a major issue with that who's only a few years older than me) and I have also looked for proper dual monitor stands as well, but balked at the ridiculous prices places have been charging (I have a shelf at the moment above a corner facing desk, personally for me I would rather be straight on to the work station and square to the wall with it all as the two monitors are a bit far away compared to what I would like it to be like, though that is personal opinion more than anything there).
It's worth anyone who is having difficulty getting their work to do assessment or take remedial action, reminding their managers that violations of H&S can leave individuals personally liable, with large fines (tens of thousands) or even prison sentences available to the courts.
If you happen to develop RSI, use a computer and your employer hasn't done DSE assessments, then you can pretty much write yourself a cheque for many thousands of pounds. The onus is on them to prove the acted properly in respect of their duty of care.