One of the many occupational conditions office workers are at risk of developing is computer vision syndrome, or CVS. It is caused by looking at computer screens for prolonged periods of time without adequate breaks.
You are likely to be suffering from this work related condition if you experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Eye strain
- Dry eyes
- Shoulder and neck pain
Preventing computer vision syndrome
There are many ways of preventing this occupational illness. CVS can be prevented by taking a few simple precautions:
- Adjust your computer’s brightness, contrast and font size to reduce fatigue and eye strain
- Blink frequently to prevent dryness of eyes
- Look away from the screen for a minimum of 20 seconds every 20 to 30 minutes
- Look at an object 20 feet or more away at least once every hour
- If possible, relax and lean back with your eyes closed from time to time
Regularly taking breaks away from the computer will not only help to prevent CVS, but will also assist in the prevention of repetitive strain injuries to the hands, wrists and arms. It will also help to prevent neck, back and/or shoulder strains.
Your employer can help to prevent CVS and other repetitive stress injuries at work by installing software that reminds workers to take regular breaks or sends them a message to look away from the screen. Some programmes even enforce such breaks by dimming or locking screens for a pre-set duration.
Why employers should do this
The reason employers should consider installing this kind of software and allow employees to take frequent breaks from working on their computers is the simple fact that they have a duty of care to prevent occupational diseases and accidents at work.
Should they fail in this duty and employees subsequently sustain work injuries or develop industrial illnesses, they could be held liable to pay affected employees work injury compensation.
Your right to lodge a claim
In other words, if you develop CVS, are injured by a workplace accident, or develop any other work related disease, you may be eligible to claim for industrial injury compensation.
In order to find out if you have a chance of successfully claiming compensation against your employer, call Accident Advice Helpline. Our Freephone number, 0800 689 0500, is available 24 hours, Monday to Sunday, all year round. Obligation-free and confidential, our helpline is answered by experienced, sympathetic and helpful advisers.
Date Published: March 2, 2015
Author: Accident Advice