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andyw
8th January 2007, 03:59 PM
I am having a workstation assessment this Thursday (11th) and I am interested to know if anyone has any good advice for it. I know it sounds silly, but I am worried the person doing the assessment might decide I don’t need anything and wont understand scoliosis!

sins
8th January 2007, 04:06 PM
Hi Andy,
My husband does lots of workstation assessments and understands scoliosis(he'd need to, living with me). Mark also is a health and safety guru and between the pair of them we'll sort out your requirements.
pretty much same things apply to a workstation for people with curved spines as straight spines, namely to set up the desk and your pc in such a way that you don't have to bend or over reach and that yor seat is set at the right height for your pc and that your chair is supportive and adjustable.
They assessor doing your workstation will also look at things like cables and electrical connections and the lighting.
I think Toni is expecting a new ergonomic desk today and she'll be able to advise as well I'm sure.
sins

tonibunny
8th January 2007, 04:21 PM
Hi Andy, I had a workstation assessment done on my desk at home. Don't be scared! They're doing to make sure that they can sort out a suitable desk environment for you, they'll listen to you if you say you are uncomfortable with any of the adjustments they suggest.

My desk at home was found to be too low, and too cramped, and without reasonable legroom (there's a table leg right in front of my chair, so I have to sit with one leg either side of it), and with the screen at the wrong angle and height and distance.....and my chair was completely wrong too, and the lighting. In fact, everything was wrong, but I expected that!

Because they'd have to make massive amounts of adjustments to my home desk, my company decided to give me a permanent desk in our posh offices in Berkeley Square (where the nightingale sang!) which is specially set up for me. Eventually I'll be getting a custom-made chair too. However, I came into work today after my Christmas break and can't find any desk that looks like it's been set up for me, and the HR lady who is supposed to be in charge of sorting it isn't here either....*sigh*. I'm currently working at a hotdesk but still, it is nice to be in the office!!

Really, there's nothing to worry about - they're doing this to help you :-)

mark
8th January 2007, 09:05 PM
Chairs
The primary requirement here is that the work chair should allow the
user to achieve a comfortable position. Seat height adjustments should
accommodate the needs of users for the tasks performed. The Schedule
requires the seat to be adjustable in height (ie relative to the ground) and the seat back to be adjustable in height (also relative to the ground) and tilt. Provided the chair design meets these requirements and allows the user to achieve a comfortable posture, it is not necessary for the height or tilt of the seat back to be adjustable independently of the seat. Automatic backrest adjustments are acceptable if they provide adequate back support. Chairs with arms are liked by some users; but check the arms do not interfere with freedom of movement, for example by stopping the user getting the chair under the work surface to sit comfortably at the keyboard. Remember users may need training on how to adjust chairs.

Work Station

Work surface dimensions may need to be larger than for conventional
non-screen office work, to take adequate account of:
(a) the range of tasks performed (for example screen viewing, keyboard
input, use of other input devices, writing on paper, use of telephone,
etc);
(b) position and use of hands for each task;
© use and storage of working materials and equipment (documents,
telephones, etc).

Keyboards

Keyboard design should allow workers to locate and activate keys
quickly, accurately and without discomfort. The choice of keyboard will be
dictated by the nature of the task and determined in relation to other elements
of the work system. Hand support may be incorporated into the keyboard for
support while keying or at rest, depending on what the worker finds
comfortable. Support can also be gained by leaving an adequate space between
the keyboard and the front edge of the desk; or may be provided by a separate
hand/wrist support on or attached to the work surface.


Display Screen

Choice of display screen should be considered in relation to other
elements of the work system, such as the type and amount of information
required for the task, and environmental factors.

mark
8th January 2007, 09:13 PM
The main hazards of DSE work

A range of musculoskeletal disorders of the arm, hand, shoulder and
neck linked to work activities are now described as ‘upper limb disorders’
(ULDs) or ‘work-related upper limb disorders’ (WRULDs). These range from
temporary fatigue or soreness in the limb to chronic soft tissue disorders such
as peritendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. Some keyboard operators have
suffered occupational cramp. Media reports often refer to some, or all, ULDs
as ‘repetitive strain injury’ (RSI) but this term is not a medical diagnosis and
can be confusing

As with other sedentary tasks, DSE work can also give rise to back pain
or make existing back pain worse, particularly if seating is poor or badly
adjusted, the workstation has insufficient space or is badly designed, or if
workers sit too long without changes of posture and breaks from DSE work.

Stress is the second most common cause of occupational ill health.
Prolonged or particularly intense periods of stress can lead to physical and/or
mental illness

mark
8th January 2007, 09:15 PM
seven-stage approach to
minimising the risk of ULDs:
(a) understand the issues and commit to action;
(b) create the right organisational environment;
©assess the risk of ULDs in your workplace;
(d) reduce the risk of ULDs;
(e) educate and inform your workforce;
(f) manage any episodes of ULDs;
(g) carry out regular checks on programme effectiveness.

mark
8th January 2007, 09:21 PM
The principal risks relate to physical (musculoskeletal) problems, visual
fatigue and mental stress. These are not unique to DSE work nor an inevitable consequence of it, and indeed there is some evidence that the risk to the individual user from typical DSE work is low if appropriate precautions are taken. However, in DSE work as in other types of work, ill health can result from poor equipment or furniture, work organisation, working environment, job design and posture, and from inappropriate working methods.

Risk assessment should first identify any hazards and then evaluate risks
and their extent. A hazard is something with the potential to cause harm; risk
expresses the likelihood that the harm from a particular hazard is realised. The
extent of the risk takes into account the number of people who might be
exposed to a risk and the consequences for them. Risks to health may arise
from a combination of factors and are particularly likely to occur when the
work, workplace and work environment do not take account of workers’
2 needs. Therefore, a suitable and sufficient analysis should:

a) be systematic, including investigation of non-obvious causes of problems.
For example poor posture may be a response to screen reflections or
glare, rather than poor furniture;

b) be appropriate to the likely degree of risk. This will largely depend on the
duration, intensity or difficulty of the work undertaken, for example the
need for prolonged high concentration because of particular performance
requirements;

c) be comprehensive, considering both:

(i) the results of analysis of the workstation (equipment, furniture,
software and environment); and

(ii) organisational and individual factors, including things like
workloads and working patterns, provision of breaks, training and
information, and any special needs of individuals

mark
8th January 2007, 09:23 PM
Hope all that helps a little should you need any more specific advice after the assessment has been done or need anything clarifying then do not hesitate to pm me

Ps sorry about the number of posts

BeckyH
8th January 2007, 11:12 PM
i haven't read all that in detail but oh my god my desk and chair at uni must be so wrong it's untrue! having said that, my desk chair at my parents house is fully adjustable but since i got my laptop, i have that on my lap on either my bed or armchair, so i don't even make proper use of the facilities i have.

mark
9th January 2007, 08:58 AM
some practical tips:

Getting comfortable

Adjust your chair and VDU to find the most comfortable position for your work. As a broad guide, your forearms should be approximately horizontal and your eyes the same height as the top of the VDU.

Make sure you have enough work space to take whatever documents or other equipment you need.

Try different arrangements of keyboard, screen, mouse and documents to find the best arrangement for you. A document holder may help you avoid awkward neck and eye movements.

Arrange your desk and VDU to avoid glare, or bright reflections on the screen. This will be easiest if neither you nor the screen is directly facing windows or bright lights. Adjust curtains or blinds to prevent unwanted light.

Make sure there is space under your desk to move your legs freely. Move any obstacles such as boxes or equipment.

Avoid excess pressure from the edge of your seat on the backs of your legs and knees. A footrest may be helpful, particularly for smaller users.

Keying in

Adjust your keyboard to get a good keying position. A space in front of the keyboard is sometimes helpful for resting the hands and wrists when not keying.

Try to keep your wrists straight when keying. Keep a soft touch on the keys and don’t overstretch your fingers. Good keyboard technique is important.

Using a mouse

Position the mouse within easy reach, so it can be used with the wrist straight. Sit upright and close to the desk, so you don’t have to work with your mouse arm stretched. Move the keyboard out of the way if it is not being used. Support your forearm on the desk, and don’t grip the mouse too tightly. Rest your fingers lightly on the buttons and do not press them hard.

Posture and breaks

Don’t sit in the same position for long periods. Make sure you change your posture as often as practicable. Some movement is desirable, but avoid repeated stretching to reach things you need (if this happens a lot, rearrange your workstation). Most jobs provide opportunities to take a break from the
screen, eg to do filing or photocopying. Make use of them. If there are no such natural breaks in your job, your employer should plan for you to have rest breaks.
Frequent short breaks are better than fewer long ones.

titch
9th January 2007, 10:29 AM
It's actually amusing how many of these I break :lol: :oops: The one I'm worst for is taking breaks - we've got a program available that bugs you to take a break every however long, and to stretch periodically and so on, and of course as a programmer you just can't use it or you'd get nothing done as it interrupts your concentration totally. That said I did try it for a while on the insistence of the H&S person and found I was uncomfortable all day as I'd scarcely got comfy when it was bugging me again!

Something that might be useful information - the old Microsoft ergonomic (split) keyboards tended to have fairly clunky keys which could be quite irritating both in the noise generated and the fact they had to be hit harder than the soft touch keyboards you could get in straight versions (not useful if you have arthritis in your hands for example). The newer Gull Wing shaped one is not only more ergonomic (it suits me better and for years the only way I've been able to keep going with an IT job is using an ergo keyboard, but also is the only ergo keyboard 2c has ever been happy with - and he's happy to the extent he's bought a second to take to work to use!) seeming to suit a broader range of people, but also has softer touch keys which are gentler to use and quieter than the traditional ivory coloured models.

Something I would love to see, that is available with certain expensive straight keyboards, but not with cheaper ones or with most available ergonomic ones, would be for the entire right hand side of the keyboard (beyond the main keypad this is) to be a separate entity which could be positioned to the left if that is preferred. It's one of the few occasions where something is better set up for a left hander - for most of us who mouse with our right hands, its a recipe for disaster as it means that either you end up with the main keypad off to the left so that you're twisted while typing, or end up stretching for the mouse. Both are ridiculous situations to be in, and I just cannot understand why this has not been addressed by manufacturers. I think it is only the Logitech DiNovo set up which is easily available and accommodates this with the number pad separate, but that was more with regard to allowing one to work in compact areas without the number pad at all I think.

andyw
9th January 2007, 11:13 AM
Thanks everyone. Having read the above i think the ergonomist is going to have lots of reccomendations to make. I have little leg room, my chair doesn't adjust much, my desk is cramped and the computer is under the desk (box only). The room is dark and there are cables all around the desk!!

I have tried so many seating positions, and have adjusted the screen alot, nothing makes it easier. So i hope the assessment will help.

Thanks again for all the information.

andyw
10th January 2007, 11:20 AM
One more question...

once the assessment has beenn done, how long will i have to wait before the reccomendations are made? I have been through Access To Work and they have approved a 100% grant for the equipment needed.

sins
10th January 2007, 11:23 AM
I don't think there's any set time Andy, they can be as quick as a few weeks or as slow as it takes to place the order for what you need through their purchasing system at work.
Also once the order is placed there may be a delivery time of a few weeks given, so realistically six to eight weeks wouldn't be unusual.
Sins

mark
10th January 2007, 11:53 AM
Sinead is right there is no time limit.

andyw
10th January 2007, 12:45 PM
Sorry, i didn't explain myself very well. I meant how long will it take the errgonomist to make the reccomendations, and are they given to Access To Work or to my employer?. It will be me that places the order through work as there is only two of us, me and my boss.

mark
10th January 2007, 12:56 PM
A couple of questions

1) Who did the workstation assessment and are they a consultancy or a safety officer within your company

If its a consultant who did the inspection timescales should be specified within the contract so you need to speak to the person who contracted the work out

If its a member of staff from your own company then how long is a piece of string. Factors would be how many other assessments have they got to do, what the minimum target your company has got in place to turn around assessments into reports, size of area covered by assessor and what other duties they may have that has been deemed a higher risk therefore needing a faster turn around

andyw
10th January 2007, 01:10 PM
The person doing the assessment is from a consultancy, he is coming tomorrow so i will ask him how long it will take to make the reccomendations. Our company only has 2 employees so as soon as we are given the OK i will be ordering what i need.

I assume he will send his reccomendations to Access To Work and they will send a letter on to us. Just hopeing it wont be months before we are told its ok to order the equipment. We can't order it before, as we are relying on the grant from access to work, so if we bought items that are not covered it will be an expense that can't be claimed back.

mark
10th January 2007, 01:11 PM
The Regulations on provision of information states

Provision of information

(1) Every employer shall ensure that operators and users at work in his
undertaking are provided with adequate information about –

(a) all aspects of health and safety relating to their workstations; and

(b) such measures taken by him in compliance with his duties under
regulations 2 and 3 as relate to them and their work.

(2) Every employer shall ensure that users at work in his undertaking are provided with adequate information about such measures taken by him in compliance with his duties under regulations 4 and 6(2) as relate to them and their work.

(3) Every employer shall ensure that users employed by him are provided with adequate information about such measures taken by him in compliance with his duties under regulations 5 and 6(1) as relate to them and their work.

mark
10th January 2007, 01:22 PM
Regulation 2 requires every employer shall perform a suitable and sufficient analysis of the workstation reduce the risks identified and review as and when changes are made

Regulation requires every employer should ensure that any workstation which may be used for the purposes of his undertaking meets the requirements laid down in the Schedule to these Regulations including those requirements relate to a component which is present in the
workstation concerned, those requirements have effect with a view to securing the health, safety and welfare of persons at work and the inherent characteristics of a given task make compliance with those
requirements appropriate as respects the workstation concerned

and

Regulation 4 requires employers to plan the activities of users at work in his undertaking that their daily work on display screen equipment is periodically interrupted by such breaks or changes of activity as reduce their workload at that equipment.

andyw
11th January 2007, 11:48 AM
Had the assessment this morning. Went well and he took some measurements and has reccomended a custom chair by Advanced Seating Design.

tonibunny
11th January 2007, 12:39 PM
That's what I'm getting Andy!!!! They can make a specially moulded chairback for you, as well as making a chair to fit your exact measurements :D

andyw
11th January 2007, 12:48 PM
Yes, he did mention about the moulded back, but i don't think i a going for that option. It will have memory foam in though, and i want to check but i assume it will have a head rest. He said the report will be with Access To Work within a week. So i think i will be able to order it soon. Did you get to choose the coulour and any extras you wanted, or did you just have to go along with the reccomendations toni?

tonibunny
11th January 2007, 01:39 PM
I think I'll be able to pick the colour, but other than that I'm going with whatever they recommend....I know it's going to have the moulded back and a headrest, possibly not arms though as they want me to be able to get the chair under a desk properly. My company are being really slow in sorting stuff out so I have no idea how long it'll take, as I've been told I'll have to have an appointment with the chair people to take a moulding of my back etc.

andyw
1st February 2007, 10:46 AM
Just got the report though today. I have been reccomended a Opera 25 chair, up to the value of £773.15. Want to check it has the arm rests and head rest though. Should be ordering it later today! :spin:

titch
1st February 2007, 10:59 AM
Excellent news :D

mark
1st February 2007, 01:47 PM
Great news, lets hope it does the business

andyw
23rd February 2007, 12:15 PM
Toni, do you have your chair yet? I am STILL waiting to place the order. If the customer service at ASD is anything to go by, then their chairs wont be much good!

It's been 2 weeks and they keep loosing the quotes, not calling me back, e-mailing the wrong address etc! :hammer: :hammer:

tonibunny
23rd February 2007, 06:11 PM
Hi Andy,

The Access to Work people have got my form and I'm waiting for them to get back to me, as they have to come out and assess my desk at both my home and office work environments......the person who assessed me before was an occupational therapist employed by my work's insurance company, and I already have a list of her recommendations, but apparently the Access to Work people have to come and check things out themselves too!

In the meantime work have got a few basic things in place for me (laptop raiser, separate keyboard and mouse) so I'm going to start working in my office again whilst I wait for the proper stuff to be sorted, as basically a normal office chair is miles better for me than the dining chair I sit on at home!

I'll join you with the hammers!!! :hammer: :hammer:

andyw
23rd February 2007, 06:38 PM
So you will end up with 3 different recommendations. One from your occupational health therapist, one from Access To Work, and then one from ASD! I don’t know why people make it so hard for themselves! :nut:

mark
25th February 2007, 07:48 PM
Originally posted by tonibunny@Feb 23 2007, 06:11 PM
Hi Andy,

The Access to Work people have got my form and I'm waiting for them to get back to me, as they have to come out and assess my desk at both my home and office work environments......the person who assessed me before was an occupational therapist employed by my work's insurance company, and I already have a list of her recommendations, but apparently the Access to Work people have to come and check things out themselves too!

In the meantime work have got a few basic things in place for me (laptop raiser, separate keyboard and mouse) so I'm going to start working in my office again whilst I wait for the proper stuff to be sorted, as basically a normal office chair is miles better for me than the dining chair I sit on at home!

I'll join you with the hammers!!! :hammer: :hammer:


Quote

So you will end up with 3 different recommendations. One from your occupational health therapist, one from Access To Work, and then one from ASD! I don’t know why people make it so hard for themselves!
:nut:



Probably waiting to see who comes in with the cheapest quote

:nut: :nut:

andyw
27th February 2007, 07:48 PM
I have finaly ordered the chair today! :spin: Delivery time 4-5 weeks! :(

andyw
14th May 2007, 05:56 PM
Well i finaly got the chair today :D five weeks late!!!!!

It is great though, i can now work in alot less pain than before!

mark
14th May 2007, 10:32 PM
:niceone:

Amazed Jean
14th May 2007, 11:59 PM
Woo Hoo!

titch
15th May 2007, 12:58 PM
That's fantastic! I still remember the difference my chair made when it arrived, it was literally the difference between being able to continue working and having to get signed off on the sick.

I'm really glad to hear that you're so much more comfortable!