Nerdhazards
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  • 1. The Hazards of Being a Nerd… Graham Pengelly`
  • 2. –noun Slang. 1. a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person. 2. an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a non-social hobby or pursuit: a computer nerd. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
  • 3. –noun 1. A chance; an accident. 2. A chance of being injured or harmed; danger: Space travel is full of hazards. 3. A possible source of danger: a fire hazard. 4. Games A dice game similar to craps. 5. Sports An obstacle, such as a sand trap, found on a golf course. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
  • 4. Eye Strain • Visual fatigue • Blurred or double vision • Burning and watering eyes • Headaches and frequent changes in prescription glasses
  • 5. Prevention • Avoid glare on monitors from windows, ceiling lights etc • Lower monitor contrast and brightness • Keep your monitor as far away as possible (25in) • Avoid prolonged focus on the same thing • Adjust the monitor to a comfortable height. • Avoid old flickering monitors • Choose a monitor that allows height adjustment
  • 6. Musculoskeletal Problems • Repetitive Strain Injury • Back and neck pain and discomfort • Tension stress headaches and related ailments
  • 7. Repetitive Strain Injury • Adhesive Capsulitis • Rotator Cuff Syndrome (Frozen Shoulder) • Cramp of the Hand • Epicondylitis (tennis / (Writers’ Cramp) * golfer’s elbow) • Tendinitis • Bursitis * • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome • Ganglion Cyst • Tenosynovitis * • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome* • De Quervain’s Syndrome • Peritendinitis • Trigger Finger / Thumb • Cervical Spondylosis • Dupuytren’s Contracture • Vibration-induced White Finger *
  • 8. RSI – Warning Signs • Recurring pain or soreness in neck, shoulders, upper back, wrists or hands. • Tingling, numbness, coldness or loss of sensation. • Loss of grip strength, lack of endurance, weakness, fatigue. • Muscles in the arms and shoulders feel hard and wiry when palpated. • Pain or numbness while lying in bed.
  • 9. RSI Numbers • 1 in 50 workers has RSI (TUC) • As high as 1 in 4 computer workers (RSIA) • 60% of children suffer discomfort using laptops (Curtin University of Technology) • Last year 12.3 million sick days in 2000/2001 (HSE) • Ill managed RSI can cost an employer up to 50% of an employee’s salary • £5 to £20 billion annually
  • 10. RSI Prevention • Stop using the computer before you begin to feel symptoms. – Workrave (http://www.workrave.org/) – Break Reminder (http://shrinkster.com/lz2) – AntiRSI (http://shrinkster.com/lz3) • Posture • Breaks – Desk-Trainer (http://www.desk-trainer.com/) – YouTube • Variety of input devices • Exercise & hydration • Relaxation – Diaphragmatic breathing (http://shrinkster.com/lz1) – Qigong – Progressive muscle relaxation (http://shrinkster.com/lz4)
  • 11. RSI Treatment • Partial or complete cessation of hand activity might be necessary • Orthopaedic hand braces • Medications: – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory e.g ibuprofen – Anti-convulsant medications e.g. gabapentin • Cold compression therapy • TENS therapy • Soft Tissue Therapy • Biofeedback • Massage • Stretches • Strengthening exercises • Surgery • Mind/Body approach
  • 12. Employer’s Responsibilities • The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 – Analyse workstations, and assess and reduce risks – Ensure workstations meet minimum requirements – Plan work so there are breaks or changes of activity – On request arrange eye tests and provide spectacles if special ones are needed – Provide health and safety training and information
  • 13. Precedent Cases • Kathleen Tovey and Kathleen Harris vs Inland Revenue (£82,000 and £79,000) • Kath Watson vs Benefits Agency (£38,000 out of court) • Others… £60,000 £30,000 £72,000 • Mughal v Reuters (Mughal lost, Judge Prosser – “quot;RSI does not exist“) • Most compensation awards aren’t sufficient to warrant the risk of paying costs
  • 14. Suing your Employer • you have an injury – Medical evidence • the injury was caused by your work – Accident reports, medical evidence etc • there was a known risk of injury • the employer should have known of the risk • the employer could reasonably have done something to prevent the risk • the employer failed to do anything to prevent the risk
  • 15. Take breaks Watch your posture There isn’t always a cure
  • 16. Resources • Health & Safety Executive (http://www.hse.gov.uk) • HSE Advice (http://shrinkster.com/lzv) • Repetitive Strain Injury Association (http://www.rsi.org.uk) • Eye Strain Info (http://shrinkster.com/lzw) • My Blog (http://goingspare.wordpress.com)