It’s true to say that the modern workplace has evolved and almost any job from manual labour to management now involves interaction with a computer at some point during the working day. The question is, just how damaging is it to stare at a computer from 9-5 and can it cause an accident at work?
Computers in the workplace
Many workplaces work solely with computers and some jobs consist solely of using a computer for extended periods of time without a break. The HSE notes that the use of a computer as a workstation can lead to various health problems such as muscle and neck injury, aches, pains, discomfort, arm pain, fatigue and perhaps most importantly, vision problems.
The name for vision problems caused by using a computer is known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS.) CVS is not one specific eye problem, rather a general term accredited to the symptoms suffered when staring at a screen for too long, including pain in the eyes and eyestrain. CVS is akin to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, in that it is a syndrome caused by repetitive stress of the same muscles. The longer you continue the activity, the worse the symptoms become. Working at a computer requires the eyes to continuously focus and readjust back and forth, and this requires a lot of effort from the muscles within the eyes.
It is important to follow proper procedure and advice when working. Make sure to take frequent breaks from your workstation in order to give your eyes a rest. Although there are no legal guidelines covering the use of a computer in the work place, experts recommend that you take at least a 5 minute break per hour when using a computer.
It is not just the screen that poses a hazard to your health when using a computer. Sitting from 9-5 without a break can cause serious strain on your muscles and lead to fatigue. It is important for any employer to provide proper ergonomic workstations, suitable for working with computers, in order to reduce any instances of injuries or illnesses related to using a computer.
If you have suffered problems as the result of staring at a screen from 9-5 all day in your workplace and it wasn’t your fault, then you may be entitled to claim compensation. Accident Advice helpline are a law firm with 13 years’ experience in providing compensation in all areas of work-related injury claims. Call us free on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone for free, no-obligation advice about making a claim.
Date Published: January 2, 2014
Author: David Brown