Health and safety in a computer room is very important as the misuse
of the computer room may lead to certain problems both physically and
mentally. Using a computer for a long period of time can affect your
health in different ways.
The following report will contain details about the health and safety
risks in using the computer
and how to combat them, and a study of the
Laws & Guidelines
Health and Safety risks
and ways to combat them
1. RSI- RSI stands for repetitive stain injury. Doing the same thing
for a long time can cause this.
2. Eyestrain- this is when you look at a VDU screen for a long time.
Particularly at looking at a flickering screen or in bad light of
3. Stress- this occurs when you are too concentrated on something.
It is the feeling of anxiety fear, anger, frustration and
4. ELF radiation- Elf stands for extremely low frequency.
Electro-magnetic fields cause this. VDU screens give out radiation
at the back and sides. Pregnant women are at most at risk.
5. Lose wires- are a hazard as anyone may trip over the wires and
Ways to combat the mentioned problems
1. RSI- The risk of RSI can be minimised if a computer user is able
to sit in a comfortable, upright position when working. To be able
to do this they need adjustable chairs and tables, wrist pads, and
2. Eye strain- One way to avoid eyestrain is to look out of a window
at a distant object every once in a while.
3. Stress- Do stress relieving exercises.
4. ELF radiation- keep the back of a computer at least 2 metres from
5. Correct Posture-to achieve a correct posture the chair and table
heights must both be adjusted to fit the user. The seat should be
adjustable so that your feet rest on the floor (or on a footrest),
your knees are bent [IMAGE]at right angles, and your thighs are
parallel to the floor. The backrest of the chair cannot be
adjusted up and down the chair. Do not have casters that roll
easily on the floor. The chair should be able to swivel and has
five and not four lags. A poor sitting position can also give
people a backache.
6. The risk of RSI can be minimised if a computer user is able to
sit in a comfortable, upright position when working. To be able to
do this they need adjustable chairs and tables, wrist pads, and
7. A VDU screen can strain your eyes. VDUs give out radiation at the
back and sides and may cause most damage to pregnant women. It is
best to keep the computers around 2 metres away from each other to
decrease the risk of ELF radiation.
8. A computer worktable should be fully adjustable. The keyboard
should ideally be adjustable so that the operator's arms are
horizontal when the hands are on the keys.
9. There are ways of hiding wires. You could put the wires under the
carpet or hide them behind the work desks.
Laws & guidelines
1. Neutral Work Posture for Children
2. Upper body posture
3. Back supported by chair (sitting back in chair with back>90° and
4. Chair seat should not compress behind the knees
5. Feet firmly on a surface for support (floor/footrest)
6. Head balanced on neck (not tilted back or too far forwards)
7. Popliteal angle>90° (i.e. angle behind the knees should be open)
8. Upper arms close to body and relaxed (not abducted to the side or
9. Elbow angle>90° (forearm below horizontal)
10. Wrist neutral (<15°) (wrist/hand level with forearm)
1. The work area The work area is the space the pupil can reach whilst
sitting comfortably in the chair. A document holder should be used if
typing from a text document or a book. The holder should be placed as
near as possible to the monitor so that the pupil not need to twist
his/her head to see.
2. The computer screen the computer screen should be positioned so
that the pupils can comfortably view the screen without noticeably
tipping their head. The computer position should be changed so that
the pupil does not get a neck ache from staring upwards or downwards
3. LOGITECH INTERNET NAVIGATORFurniture and equipment the furniture
and equipment should make the user feel comfortable. There should be
an adjustable chair, a stable work surface with an adjustable keyboard
and mouse platform.
4. Glare-free screen The screen should be glare free. Check that the
position of the monitor is free from bright lights
5. Manage computer use time the risks of any postural problems
associated with computer use depend upon the length of time that you
child uses the computer without taking a rest break and doing
An assessment of the health and safety risks in M11U
[IMAGE]The computer room M11U does not have any blinds on the windows.
None of the computers used by the pupils have adjustable chairs or
desks. Some of the computers are facing the windows and some pupils
are less than the recommended 2 metres away from the backs of the
computers. There is some air conditioning and ventilation. But it
isn't enough for the whole computer room. Most of the computers are
around 2 metres away from each other although some; mainly the ones on
the edge are not. The cables are mostly hidden away although there are
ma few straw wires around the room.
Design of M11U
Windows with blinds
Year 10 - Health and Safety Report
Write a report including the following:
* A brief introduction about the increase of health risks due to the
use of computers
* Descriptions of each of the health risks - what the symptoms are,
how they are caused (include RSI, eyestrain, back and neck ache,
tripping, stress, electrical shock, ELF)
* The laws and guidelines set out by the government with regards to
health and safety when working with computers and VDUs
* An assessment of the health and safety risks in M11U - what is
wrong with the room? Is there anything that is good?
* Re-design the IT room, annotating where you have improved the room
with regards to H & S Guidelines and the types of equipment
available to combat the risks
* Write a cover letter expressing your concerns to Headmaster about
the current state of the IT room, enclosing the report