The landscape of the workspace has certainly changed over the last few weeks. Many people are now working from home, a space familiar for home and domestic activities, and unfamiliar for occupational tasks. The elements of good work design (Biomechanical, Physical, Cognitive and Psychosocial) pertain to whatever environment is chosen to be the workspace and due consideration must be given by both employers and employees to manage the occupational health and safety risks.
Regarding the biomechanical elements (force, movement, posture and vibration) – staff should conduct a risk assessment or self-evaluation of their intended home workspace. Parts of the workspace that should be reviewed are;
- Location – avoid performing tasks where awkward postures are likely to be sustained e.g. bed, couch, recliner chair, outdoor setting
- Check for appropriate lighting, ventilation and temperature
- Try to replicate your usual workstation set up with a chair, desk, phone and documents within close reach
- Use headphones if utilising a mobile phone or even landline if able
- If using a laptop – consider utilising a second larger computer monitor and / or raise the laptop up to eye level and at the appropriate distance. Consider an external keyboard and mouse also.
- Make time for appropriate posture breaks and to perform exercises and stretches
Nabenet Health is continuing to provide ergonomic workspace consultation through ‘tele-health’ means –get in touch for more information and also a working from home checklist. firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 9981 9888.