Why do I need to complete a workstation assessment?
It is important that workstations are set up and used correctly in order to prevent repetitive strain and other injuries associated with using computers, laptops etc for work. To help staff set up and use their workstations to prevent injuries, the School strongly encourages all staff who use computers for a significant part of their work to complete a workstation assessment. This is done using online software called ErgoPro There are assessments for the office and home.
I work in a blended way, do I need to complete a workstation assessment?
You should complete separate workstation assessments for working in the office and for working at home. We need to make sure that staff who use PCs, laptops or mobile devices for a significant part of their role are safe and not at risk of injury or harm regardless of where they work. This is also a legal requirement.
How do I log on to ErgoPro?
A link to our online assessment software, ErgoPro is sent annually to all permanent staff whose roles require them to use computers for a significant amount of time. Links are unique to the individual and cannot be shared. If you are a new member of staff your manager should inform the Health and Safety Team of your appointment and you will be sent a link.
I previously completed an assessment, I was OK, but I now have some issues: what should I do?
You should re-do your workstation assessment. If you have forgotten your password or have difficulties resetting the password online, you can contact email@example.com.
What happens after I’ve completed the online assessment?
If your assessment identifies any issues, you will be sent guidance and information from the system that will help you to work more comfortably.
If the assessment identifies you as being at high risk of injury, you will also be invited for a face to face assessment with our external ergonomic assessor. These are usually in person for campus and via Teams for home assessments.
What happens if I have a face to face assessment?
The assessor will discuss your issues and may make immediate recommendations which will help you. These are often recommendations to reposition equipment or to take frequent breaks and move around more. For office workstations the assessor may recommend furniture or equipment from an agreed list to alleviate more serious issues. The School will no longer provide furniture for home use. The only equipment that will be supplied are laptop stands and ergonomic mice and keyboards.
I have significant problems, why do I have to complete an online assessment first?
The assessor uses the information you provide in the online assessment to focus on your most significant problems.
Is there anything else I should know?
Staff with more complicated issues or disabilities may be referred to HR who have access to specialist assessments via the Access to Work scheme.
It is important that computer users should adopt good posture while seated at the screen in order to avoid aches, pains and more permanently disabling musculo-skeletal conditions.
The basic requirements are:
- The chair should be capable of adjustment of the seat height, backrest and backrest tilt. The backrest should offer adequate lumbar support, which should be able to be adjusted to suit the individual user.
- The seat height should be adjusted so that the user can sit with their shoulders in a relaxed position and their elbows at a 90-degree angle, with the forearms and upper arms at right angles while keying. Hands should just rest on the keyboard in a neutral position avoiding excessive flexion, extension or deviation of the wrists. The mouse should be positioned so that the user can operate it while keeping their elbow at a 90-degree angle. There should be space in front of the keyboard for the user to rest their hands in between keying. The screen should be positioned directly in front of the user and be at a height so that the user's line of vision is approximately five centimetres from the top of the screen.
- The chair seat should have sufficient depth to accommodate the user without pressure on the backs of the thighs or knees. The angle of the seat should enable the user to sit with their hips raised slightly above their knees, so that their pelvis is rotated forward thereby helping the spine to maintain its natural 'S' shaped curve. The user's feet should be able to rest flat on the floor, or they should be provided with a footrest. There should be sufficient space on the work surface to accommodate any equipment or items the user may need to perform their job. There should be sufficient space under the desk or workstation for the user's legs to enable them to change position as required.
- It is vital that computer users take regular breaks (e.g. four or five minutes every hour) from screen-based work, stretch and reposition in order to avoid excessive static loading of their muscles and tendons, which leads to fatigue and upper limb disorders. It is important to take breaks before fatigue sets in, otherwise there will be insufficient time to recover. Users should also take frequent mini breaks from viewing the screen by focusing on something different from the screen in order to avoid visual fatigue.
For more information see the Health and Safety Executive guidance Working with VDUs (PDF).
The School has a duty to provide an eyesight test, or cost towards an eye test, for employees who habitually use display screen equipment as a significant part of their normal working hours.
Full details of the scheme can be found on HR's webpage.