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1 AQA ICT AS Level © Nelson Thornes 2008 Display screen equipment regulations Health and Safety
2 AQA ICT AS Level © Nelson Thornes 2008 Hazards and risks Many people who work with computers sit in the same position and make the same movements over and over again. They are at risk of: back pain and spinal damage eye strain and headaches painful joints.
3 AQA ICT AS Level © Nelson Thornes 2008 Precautions The Display Screen Equipment Regulations covers workers who use computers for most of their working day. It is important to take precautions to reduce these risks as far as possible.
4 AQA ICT AS Level © Nelson Thornes 2008 Back pain Back pain is more likely if the user sits with a bad posture. Users should sit with a straight back. Their eyes should be level with the top of the monitor. Their forearms should be approximately horizontal. What precautions can be taken to reduce the chances of back pain or spinal damage?
5 AQA ICT AS Level © Nelson Thornes 2008 Back pain Precautions Chairs should be adjustable. Chairs should give good back support. Monitors should tilt and swivel. Some users may need a footrest.
6 AQA ICT AS Level © Nelson Thornes 2008 Eye strain and headaches Eye strain and headaches can occur when the user focuses at the same distance for long periods. They are more likely if the software is badly designed. What precautions could people take to avoid eye strain? Remember to blink and refocus eyes regularly. Set brightness and contrast to a comfortable setting. Use colours, fonts and font sizes that make the text easy to read.
7 AQA ICT AS Level © Nelson Thornes 2008 Upper limb disorders Using a keyboard and mouse over long periods of time can cause pain in joints or even damage them permanently. This is sometimes called ‘repetitive strain injury’ (RSI).
8 AQA ICT AS Level © Nelson Thornes 2008 Upper limb disorders What precautions could people take to avoid RSI in hands/arms? Keep the wrists as straight as possible when keying or using a mouse. Vary the input device, for example, using a trackball or voice recognition sometimes. Use keyboard shortcuts and macros to reduce the number of keystrokes. Design software so that keystrokes and mouse movement are kept to a minimum.
9 AQA ICT AS Level © Nelson Thornes 2008 Taking breaks Avoiding problems Taking regular short breaks can reduce the risk of any of the health and safety hazards. The regulations do not specify how often or how long the break should be, but frequent short breaks work better than less frequent longer ones.
10 AQA ICT AS Level © Nelson Thornes 2008 Training Health and Safety
11 AQA ICT AS Level © Nelson Thornes 2008 Training Self assessment It is very important to train users to look after their own health and safety.
12 AQA ICT AS Level © Nelson Thornes 2008 Employers should make sure that their staff are told: how to adjust the furniture and equipment to achieve the correct sitting posture how to use all equipment effectively to avoid injury that simple stretching exercises can help to prevent back problems that they must look away from the screen from time to time and try to blink regularly how to report any health and safety problems. Training
13 AQA ICT AS Level © Nelson Thornes 2008 Remember Assess workstations regularly for risks. Provide adjustable furniture and equipment. Look carefully at software design. Train users to protect their own health and safety.
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