OH&S tips for your office furniture to reduce workplace injury
Many people spend a good nine hours a day at work; some people even more. Those of us who sit at a office desk for hours on end and only get up to walk to the printer or the lunch room know just how important a properly set up workstation is for our health. A correctly set up workstation can reduce the likelihood of everything from back problems to Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). From the office chairs to placement of the computer hardware to the height of your desk, everything plays its part in ensuring an occupational health and safety friendly workplace. If your office configuration isn’t conducive to an OH & S friendly arrangement, office fitouts – including replacing your old and worn out seats with a purchase of bulk office chairs – can help you maximise office space in order to create a safety conscious workplace.
Office chairs should be at a height that your feet can comfortably remain flat on the ground. Your thighs should essentially run parallel to the floor, while your lower legs should remain vertical. Back support from your office chair should enable you to sit upright, without slouching, while the support should fit comfortably with the arch of your lower back.
How you set up your desk will depend on whether it’s height adjustable or not. If you do have a height adjustable desk it’s recommended that you adjust your office chair to suit your requirements, then alter the height of your desk so the surface is just below elbow height. Non-adjustable desks will need to be modified – either cut the legs down or raise your chair and use a footrest if the desk is too high, or extend the desk leg length if the desk is too low.
Items and boxes should not be stored in the space under the desk where your legs will typically be – this is why we have shelving. Workplace items that you most frequently use should be placed in the top drawers of your desk to reduce the need to bend and potentially injure your back. Desk surfaces should be free of clutter so your range of movement is not restricted.
These are just some basic occupational health and safety tips – speak to your workplace OHS representative for more comprehensive information. In addition to your office furniture being set up at the right height, it’s important that it is all functional as well. If your office chairs are worn out and have seen better days, they’re not going to do anyone any favours. So keep your office furniture in great condition – after all the cost of bulk office chairs is a mere drop in the ocean compared to the cost of workplace injury.