Virtual office Comcare - Australian Goverment
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Computers and Personal Electronic Devices

Virtual office – Computer and personal electronic devices
Flash presentation virtual office– computer and personal electronic devices
ObjectsHazardsPossible Controls
Monitor placement
  • Computer screen is too high or too low
  • User wears bifocal glasses 
  • Screen is too close to or too far from eyes 
  • Screen tilt is incorrectly adjusted
  • Dual screens
  • Set monitor so workers can read top of screen without tilting head backwards to do so
  • Working documents should be located between the screen and keyboard or alongside the screen to ensure the same focal distances for both
  • Spectacles with full corrective or multifocal lenses should be used
  • Screen should be placed arms length away from the worker, with the top of the screen just above eye level
  • Locate the monitor directly in front of the worker to reduce twisting of the neck and torso
  • Place the screen with a tilt of 15 degrees up from vertical 
  • Locating the two screens side by side to reduce back and neck twisting from one screen to another
  • Slightly angle the screens towards one another to further reduce twisting
  • Screen should be placed in front of you proportionally to the use (i.e. if one screen is used 90% of the time it should occupy 90% of the space in front of the operator)
Monitor type
  • Monitor flickers at the screen edges
  • Consider using LCD monitors as they are free from flicker at the screen edges
Keyboard and mouse height
  • Keyboard / mouse is being used at the wrong height
  • Arms should be parallel to floor when at rest 
  • Use keyboard in a lowered position (i.e. fold away keyboard feet)
  • Ensure wrists are in neutral position (i.e. if appropriate use wrist rest)
Keyboard and mouse placement and shape
  • User is twisting to use keyboard / mouse
  • Keyboard is being used too far away from body
  • Mouse is being used too far away from keyboard
  • Inappropriate keyboard size and / or shape for the user
  • Inappropriate mouse size and / or shape for the user's hand
  • Keyboard should be used in front of screen or document holder (major viewing surface)
  • Keyboard used directly in front of user
  • Locate keyboard as near to the front edge of the desk to reduce reaching
  • Locate mouse as close as possible to keyboard to reduce reaching
  • Provide a style of keyboard / mouse which is comfortable for the user
  • Provide a mouse which fits the size and natural shape of the user's hand
  • Ensure appropriate surface for smooth operation of mouse
Documents used when keyboarding
  • Excessive eye and neck movement from poor document position when keyboarding
  • Use an A4 document holder placed level with and close to one side of the screen (for 'touch typists') 
  • Use an A3 document holder above keyboard, and in front of screen (for non 'touch typists')
Personal electronic devices
  • Personal electronic devices reduce awareness of surroundings (warning sounds, traffic)
  • Headphones used to block background noise
  • Music playing devices may damage hearing
  • Consider developing policy about where and when it is appropriate to use personal electronic devices
  • Including awareness of the dangers of personal electronic devices in induction
  • Using stereo headphones (circumaural headphones) that cover the entire ear or in-ear headphones (canalphones) to block background noise instead of earbuds or earphones that are not capable of delivering the same dynamic range and consequently often used at a higher volume 
  • Display appropriate signage about responsible use of personal electronic devices
  • Tasks that may cause body fatigue and stressing
  • Lack of task variety, prolonged time spent in one position
  • Tasks that may cause eyes to become irritated, strained or blurred
  • Conduct a workstation assessment before operator begins work (i.e. desk height, chair adjustment, keyboard / mouse / screen position)
  • Have appropriate signage / computer applications to remind workers to take breaks and guidance on appropriate stretching exercises
  • To reduce risks of body fatigue and or stressing from repetitive tasks, implement task variety to reduce the risk
  • Provide appropriate training to workers to encourage appropriate posture, regular breaks, stretching exercises and eye health management (blinking regularly to lubricate the eye and focusing on objects away from a screen)