Presentation on theme: "1.10 Health and Safety In this section you must be able to:"— Presentation transcript:
1 1.10 Health and Safety In this section you must be able to: Describe the provisions of the current health and safety legislation in relation to the use of information systems.Recognise that health and safety guidelines cover the design and introduction of new software.
2 Health and Safety Issues ICT use can lead to the following health concerns:RSI – Repetitive Strain InjuryThe effect of radiation from VDUsThe effect of computer use on eye-sightStressThese can be improved by:Having an ergonomically designed workplaceFollowing health and safety guidelinesUsing carefully designed software systems
3 Repetitive Strain Injury A variety of disorders affecting the neck, shoulders and upper limbsCaused by repeated small movements – e.g. typing or moving the mouse – data-entry are clerks badly affectedResults in numbness, tingling, aching or stiffnessRSI was identified as early as the 18th century but diagnosis has proved contentious in recent timesThere is no medical cure other than to:Stop the repeated motion, e.g. with a change of equipmentUse proper supports – e.g. wrist restsStretch regularly and include other exercises
4 Extra Low Frequency Radiation We are exposed to ELF radiation from:Mains electricityComputer monitorsNatural sources, such as sunshine!Research has shown that there may be a link between ELF radiation and health problemsA causal link between VDU use and miscarriage has not been established, although there is a positive correlation – this could be caused by other factors such as stress and poor ergonomicsRadio equipment (such as mobile phones) has also been in the spotlight
5 EyestrainComputer users spend a long time focussing on screens that are relatively closeOther aggravating factors include:Glare and other improper lightingPoor work practices – insufficient rest, etc.Poorly designed equipmentImproperly corrected vision (i.e. not wearing your glasses)Screens are best viewed in dim lights, but this can make paper documents difficult to seeThere is no evidence that there is permanent damage to the eyes
6 Sources of Stress In work environments, stress can be caused by: Demands – such as workload, work patterns and the work environment.Control – such as how much say the person has in the way they do their work.Support – such as the encouragement, sponsorship and resources provided by the organisation, line management and colleagues.Relationships – such as promoting positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour.Role – such as whether people understand their role within the organisation and whether the organisation ensures that they do not have conflicting roles.Change – such as how organisational change (large or small) is managed and communicated in the organisation.
7 ICT-related Sources of Stress More specifically, ICT can in induce stress:Slow machinery – i.e. having to wait for things to log in/out, and data to be processedInappropriate or faulty systemsLack of skills (or confidence – “will it break if I press the wrong key?”, or “I’m too old to use computers”)Information overloadWork rate – performance can be monitored by software that counts key clicksMonitoring – e.g. s, web-pages, audit logsThe ability to work at home – with laptops, mobile, pagers, etc. – so it feels like you’re always at workSpeed of development – the pace at which things can change in the ICT industry
8 Information OverloadManagers are bombarded with more information than they can handleThis can produce “information anxiety”For example, even searching for “information overload” in Google finds 1,850,000 hits in 0.3s!If people are away for a few days they can have 100s of s waiting for them when they get backIn a survey of ICT department heads, more than 75% reported that pressure at work caused problems in their personal lives from loss of appetite and sleep to alcohol abuse
9 Health and Safety Regulations The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 protect the health of employeesEmployers mustAnalyse workstations for safetyProvide training on the use of workstation componentsEnsure that employees have regular breaks or changes of activityProvide regular eye tests for workstation users and pay for glasses where necessary
10 Health and Safety Regulations Employees mustUse workstations and equipment correctly, in accordance with the training providedBring problems to the attention of their employer immediately and co-operate to correct themManufacturers are also required to ensure that their products comply with the directive, e.g.Screens must tilt and swivelKeyboards must be separate and movableNotebook computers are not suitable for entering large amounts of data
11 ErgonomicsRefers to the design and functionality of the environment. Employers must consider:Lighting – offices should be well lit with adjustable blinds to control sunlight & glareFurniture – chairs should be adjustableWork space – including heating & ventilationNoise – must be kept to a minimumHardware – screens must tilt and swivel, etc.Software – must make tasks easier and be adaptable to the users’ needs
12 Software Quality Bad software can be extremely stressful to use, e.g.: Badly-chosen colour schemesIncomprehensible error messagesNon-standard keys or interfaceBadly structured menusRepeatedly failure of new softwareLack of functionality – not doing what it shouldUnnecessary features – e.g. “Tip of the Day” or the Office Assistant tell you that you appear to be writing a letterSlow processingCan all lead to frustration.(see also 2.10 Human/Computer Interface)