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Rule #6 - Avoid Injury in the Workplace

Considerations

Eddie is working late one night at the office in order to get his proposal finished for a very important client. You may have had a similar experience when you had a paper due and were staying up late to finish it. Eddie is getting tired. He has not taken a break in several hours and has not had an energy drink.
Computer related injuries cover a wide variety of health problems caused by or contributed by computer usage. These injuries include: Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), Back Problems, and Eye Strain & Discomfort. Americans were paid over $20 Billion in compensation claims for RSI.
Have you worked at a computer or used your smartphone for so long that it hurt? If so, what did you do? What technology would you like to see to make your interaction with computers and smartphones more enjoyable?
The ethical take-away from this section is to reduce any harm or injury to yourself, by create a working environment that will alleviate repetitive actions and repetitive stress.



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Avoid Injury in the Workplace
 




There are many general rules for avoiding injury in the workplace, like not lifting heavy boxes and not walking on tile floors that have been freshly mopped. However, there are some specific rules to follow when working with computer-based technologies that will help avoid injury. These rules need to be mentioned, because they result from activities that are easily overlooked. Once mentioned, you will be able to easily avoid discomfort and injury.

For example, often, in the course of our workday, we fail to realize just how much time we spend in front of a computer or other CBT. Working for long periods of time may lead to a variety of stresses on your body.

Remember:

  1. Knowing that working for long hours with computers may lead to repetitive stress, take breaks regularly.
  2. Knowing that working for long hours with computers may lead to discomfort, arrange your office
           furniture to relieve any pain.


By avoiding repetitive patterns, you create a healthier work environment. This will not only improve your health and safety on the job, but you will notice an increase in your productivity.

There are a number of ways to minimize the negative consequences of repetitive stress. Two of these are:

- Take breaks regularly. Sometimes, when you are focused on our work, the hours fly by, and you may find yourself repeating the same body motions for long periods of time. Although it may be difficult on such occasions to part from the routine, try to get up from your work and stretch or walk around for a few minutes, or at least perform your task in a different way.

- Set up your office in ways that are ergonometric; that is, in ways that your furniture and CBTs fit you the best. Ideally, you will be able to control your chair's height, tilt, lumbar support, arm rests, monitor position, lighting, air flow, and noise level, to name the most important factors. If you wish, and your company permits, try some Feng Shui.

After you've familiarized yourself with this Rule, see if you can answer a few simple questions....

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