A) Sensible work practices are an important factor in the prevention of muscular fatigue; discomfort or pain in the arms, neck, hands or back; or eye strain which can be associated with constant or regular work at a keyboard and visual display unit (VDU).
B) It is vital that the employer pays attention to the physical setting such as workplace design, the office environment, and placement of monitors as well as the organisation of the work and individual work habits. Operators must be able to recognise work-related health problems and be given the opportunity to participate in the management of these. Operators should take note of and follow the preventive measures outlined below.
C) The typist must be comfortably accommodated in a chair that is adjustable for height with a back rest that is also easily adjustable both for angle and height. The back rest and sitting ledge (with a curved edge) should preferably be cloth-covered to avoid excessive perspiration.
D) When the keyboard operator is working from a paper file or manuscript, it should be at the same distance from the eyes as the screen. The most convenient position can be found by using some sort of holder. Individual arrangement will vary according to whether the operator spends more time looking at the VDU or the paper – whichever the eyes are focused on for the majority of time should be put directly in front of the operator.
E) While keying, it is advisable to have frequent but short pauses of around thirty to sixty seconds to proofread. When doing this, relax your hands. After you have been keying for sixty minutes, you should have a ten minute change of activity. During this spell it is important that you do not remain seated but stand up or walk around. This period could be profitably used to do filing or collect and deliver documents.
F) Generally, the best position for a VDU is at right angles to the window. If this is not possible then glare from the window can be controlled by blinds, curtains or movable screens. Keep the face of the VDU vertical to avoid glare from overhead lighting.
G) Unsatisfactory work practices or working conditions may result in aches or pain. Symptoms should be reported to your supervisor early on so that the cause of the trouble can be corrected and the operator should seek medical attention.
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