Ergonomics

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Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the study of people in their working environment with the goal of eliminating discomfort and risk of ill health or injury due to work.

Businesses that have employees whose work involves the use of Visual Display Units (VDU) or Display Screen Equipment (DSE) have to seriously consider ergonomics. This is to protect their worker's health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Not ensuring the employees health and safety is too costly, firstly from a human health perspective, but also from a business and financial perspective too.

As per the General Application Regulations 2007 made under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (No. 10 of 2005), employers are required by law to assess health and safety at workstations with particular attention to eyesight risks, mental stress, and physical difficulties. A competent person with relevant skill sets, training, and experience must complete the ergonomics analysis.

It's not sufficient to allow employees to conduct assessments of their own workstations using a software package. The employer should be actively involved in completing a physical risk analysis of every workstation. The minimum requirements in Schedule4 to the General Application Regulations must be followed when inspecting workstations. The results of ergonomic assessments should be shared with the employees and a record of the workstation analysis must be kept.

In the event that alterations are done to the workstation after an assessment was done, it must be revused to meet the requirements outlined in Schedule 4.

We at ADSC Ireland and the skills and expertise to complete these assessments on your behalf

The employer's duty under Display Screen Equipment Regulation 2007

An employer, who provides VDU / DSE for use by their employees at a workstation, must:

  • Conduct an ergonomic analysis of employee's workstations
  • Educate employees about measures which have been implemented
  • Train employees in the use of workstations before they begin work with VDU / DSE and every time the set up of the workstation is altered
  • Conduct another ergonomic assessment whenever employees are transferred to new workstations or when a new equipment is introduced in their workstations
  • Make sure that every employee is provided an appropriate eye and eyesight test

Employees who are covered by Chapter 5 of Part 2 of the Regulations:

  • are entitled to have their workstations inspected per requirements of Regulation 72
  • must be trained in the proper use of workstations and be educated about health and safety factors
  • must have periodic changes of routine or rest breaks away from VDUs / DSEs
  • must be notified by their employers that they are entitled to an appropriate eye and eyesight tests (or may choose either) before starting work with VDUs / DSEs. If, at any time while working with VDUs / DSEs a worker experiences visual difficulties or problems, he / she has a similar entitlement

Why stress and fatigue is an essential point in ergonomics?

In addition to eye or eyesight problems and upper limb disorders, stress and fatigue is a major player in the occurrence of injury and ill health in the workplace - especially for DSE users.

Millions of people are employed worldwide in a wide variety of industries, such as emergency services, transport, the utilities, manufacturing (including gas, oil, and chemical), healthcare, retail and entertainment. Long working hours and poorly designed shift work arrangements that don't balance with time for rest and recovery can result in stress, fatigue, ill health, injuries and accidents.

Fatigue is an issue that arises from excessive work time and poorly designed shift patterns. It's a decline in physical and/or mental performance that results from prolonged work, disruption of the internal clock, and/or sleep loss. It's also related to workload as workers are easily more fatigued if the task is monotonous, complex, or machine-paced.

Stress and fatigue slows reactions and reduces ability to process information. It also results in lack of attention, memory lapses, decreased awareness, absent-mindedness, reduced coordination, underestimation of risk, etc. On top of these, it can lead to grave errors and accidents, ill-health and injury as well as reduced productivity. It's often the root cause of major / phenomenal accidents, e.g. Chernobyl, Texas City, Herald of Free Enterprise, Exxon Valdez, etc.

As an employer, you must protect your workers from the health risks of working with VDUs / DSEs and part of this should include stress and fatigue.

ADSC can help with your Ergonomic Requirements > Contact us for a Quote!

We at ADSC Ireland have vast experience undertaking Ergonomic Assessments and would be delighted to provide a quote.

To enable us provide you with a Ergonomic Assessment quote please provide the following information.

  • Location of your premises
  • Number of employees requiring ergonomic assessments
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