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Health and Safety Guidelines for Computer Operators

By Yosie Saint-Cyr, Editor at HRinfodesk---Canadian Payroll and Employment Law, September 2005


The Ontario Ministry of Labour, Occupational Health and Safety Division has prepared a Health and Safety guideline for computer operators. According to the guideline, employees who do continuous, intensive computer work, such as data entry, for prolonged periods during a shift are at increased risk of developing a number of health problems, which include: visual fatigue, headaches, upper limb musculoskeletal injuries (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome), and back pain..

The guidelines will provide employers with the information and/or solutions needed to reduce the risk of computer-related problems, such as providing frequent rest breaks and having appropriate work station design, among other things.

The guideline can be found at Rest Breaks for Computer Operators | Health and Safety Guideline | Ontario Ministry of Labour website. In addition, the Ministry of Labour has an additional guide that discusses the factors affecting both the physical and the visual demands on people who work with computers. It addresses the layout of workstations, covering the relevant parts of the computer (keyboard, monitor, mouse, etc.) and related furniture and aids (chairs, desks, document holders, etc.). It also addresses lighting in the work environment and task design for computer work. There is also a section regarding portable computers, or laptop computers. The checklist provided at the end will allow the reader to make a point-by-point review of each computer workstation in a workplace. This guide can be accessed at Computer Ergonomics: Workstation Layout and Lighting | Health and Safety Guidelines | Ontario Ministry of Labour website.


By Yosie Saint-Cyr, Editor at HRinfodesk

Published on HRinfodesk---Canadian Payroll and Employment Law and Developments

HRinfodesk is a service that is published by First Reference which includes employment law news for every jurisdiction in Canada, a Library of Articles, FAQs, a Calendar of Events, Important Dates and an HR Internet Directory for expanded research. Our search tools will help you to quickly find results by jurisdiction, topic, date and keyword. For the latest employment law news and a ten day trial, click here.

First Reference is a publisher of Canadian employment law reference manuals that are comprehensive, updated and practical. Publications include The Human Resources Advisor, Human Resources PolicyPro and the HRinfodesk Bulletin and website. For more information or to purchase one of our publications, go to http://www.firstreference.com/.

This article offers general comments on legal developments of concern to businesses. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of this information. These publications are written for informational purposes only and should NOT be relied upon as legal advice or opinions. The reader should always obtain legal advice from a qualified lawyer or other qualified professional, which will be responsive to the case or circumstance of the individual. Please note that the content provided in this article or any content contained in or made available through any third party website linked to from this article and/or HRinfodesk, is provided 'as is' without representations or warranties of any kind. All representations and warranties in respect of Content or Third Party Content, express or implied, including, without limitation any representations to warranties or conditions regarding accuracy, timeliness, completeness, non-infringement, merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose are hereby disclaimed.

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