Manager Office worker Call centre HSR IT Worker Receptionist
image of IT worker

Information Technology

Generally, Information Technology (IT) workers (especially those on helpdesks):

  • are on a short term employment contract
  • undertake responsive / reactive work often with time constraints to complete the work
  • engage in poor eating habits
  • frequently use a laptop or other smaller device
  • can experience overstimulation of the brain (being hooked in to the digital world 24/7)
Potential Harm
Stress
Musculoskeletal disorder
Body stressing
Anxiety

Top risks:

  • musculoskeletal disorders
  • customer aggression
  • electrical
  • stress

What can I do? (for myself)

  • Avoid lifting and twisting whilst carrying heavy items. Use a trolley to move computers and peripheral equipment around.
  • De-energise electrical equipment before working on it.
  • Avoid static discharge by using a strap that is grounded.
  • Take breaks often, stay hydrated and eat properly (avoid junk food).
  • Ensure you have the appropriately adjusted office chair if sitting for long periods of time.
  • Take every opportunity you can to take micro pauses. These are short ten second breaks where you relax your muscles, stretch and change posture.
  • Use a headset if you are on a helpdesk and answer the phone often.
  • Keep the client informed on progress when fault fixing (a client’s sense of urgency may be different to yours and keeping them up to date on progress may alleviate conflict).

What can my employer do?

  • Provide a work area where faulty equipment can be repaired.
  • Provide adequate lighting, tools, electrostatic mitigation, workstation and workbenches at an appropriate height for IT workers.
  • Provide training on proper lifting techniques.
  • Implement an electrical safety policy that does not permit work on energised items.
  • Provide plenty of notice to workers regarding work contract renewal or cessation.
  • Set Key Performance Indicators that allow workers adequate and realistic time to complete tasks (especially if this is reflected in a customer service charter).