F1-Increase in RSI It is felt that the increased use of online services may have an effect on the degree of RSI which computer users will experience. These are a response to excessive and repetitive demands placed on the body. Another name given to such problems is 'Occupational Overuse Syndrome'. The repeated movements cause damage to tendons, muscles, nerves and other soft tissues. Deskbound workers, especially those using computers, keyboards, mice and trackballs, are particularly prone to RSIs of the upper limbs, including tenosynovitis, tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. This is more likely to be the case with the telephone operators at call centers than with other users.
F2-Vision and posture problems Typical symptoms include neck pain, shoulder pain, weakness of the arm and hand muscles and headaches. Postural low back pain is caused by prolonged sitting or standing. Upper back and neck problems are often caused by bad positioning of a computer screen, or bad lighting. These are often caused by bad positioning of a computer screen, or bad lighting, such that the user has to strain forward to see it properly. Monitors above eye height, are a common precipitating factor. Jobs where the phone is jammed between ear and elbow to allow the hands free to perform other tasks can also lead to similar problems, as do jobs where the neck has to be twisted and held in a twisted position to undertake a task. Badly positioned telephones and other equipment that require a lot of reaching can also contribute to the problem Typical symptoms include neck pain, shoulder pain, weakness of the arm and hand muscles and headaches. Prolonged sitting or standing can lead to low back pain, as can heavy lifting in the workplace. The two greatest problems seem to be sitting upright or forward, and not changing position. An upright posture with a 90-degree hip position is bad for the discs in the lower spine. It is now thought that a 'supported slouch' with your bottom a little forward in the seat is better for the discs. This can be achieved with a forward tilt chair or a chair with a level seat and a reclined backrest. Visual symptoms such as eye irritation and eye strain are amongst the most frequently reported complaints by computer users. Several factors may contribute to the problem, particularly glare from the screen, poor positioning of the screen, improper workspace lighting, and poor quality copy material. Eye position is important, with the straight-ahead position used by many computer operators contributing to eye strain and headaches. The centre of the screen should be 7-10 inches below the horizontal line of sight. Ideally, workstations and lighting should be arranged to avoid direct and reflected glare from the screen or surrounding surfaces. Anti-glare screens are available for monitors, made from either mesh or glass. It is possible to reduce reflected glare off the screen by adjusting the position of the screen. While the screen is off, it should be angled so that there are no reflections of any office lights or daylight on the front surface of the screen. For VDU operators, a visual break of 5 minutes every 20 minutes is recommended. During these breaks, it is recommended that you focus on a view at least 20 feet away to relax those muscles that are responsible for near vision focus. It is advisable for VDU operators to have an annual eye examination, and if glasses are required, computer glasses may help to reduce eye strain.
F3-Need for increased safety measures against electrocution, fire etc Safety measures need to be taken at on-line centers. Safety measures should include methods of protection against electrocution – Detailed noise reporting procedure which calls for the supervisor to complete an incident report. Measures to reduce noise in the workplace; for example, isolation of call centres from other noisy work areas and machinery. Often call centre agents will adjust their headsets to a higher volume to cope with the noise around them. Strict maintenance requirements for electronic equipment. Use of new technologies such as sound shields to filter narrow band tones which may cause acoustic shock. don’t overload sockets automatic fuse trip The presence of CO2 fire extinguishers etc.
The Effects Of The Use Of On-Line Services On Health & Safety Mr. Powell