Are The New Best Practice ‘Guidelines for Using Computers’ Guiding YOUR Practise Yet?


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Marion Edwin
Ergonomist and Director, Optimise Ltd
PO Box 390, Motueka 7143

(P42, Friday 28, Ilott Theatre, 2.30)

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  • Today introducing the new ‘Guidelines for using computers: preventing and managing discomfort, pain and injury’, published in November 2010 as a DoL/ACC collaboration. Acknowledge the work of Lorraine Gardner Wood in the preparation of this presentation, though she is no longer in an ACC role.
  • The new document I am talking about today is this. (hold up). This work was published in November 2010 after a lengthy gestation…
  • Many a robust discussion was had (but such is our professionalism that there were no blows)... Much coffee was consumed. Note the new title of the finished version - ‘for’.
  • Into the nitty gritty... Health Professionals / Treatment providers? Managers/Employers? Health and safety representative from within an organisation? Health and Safety Advisor? Human Resources? Assessment role – perhaps ergonomists, others…?
  • Discuss the way the document is broken into sections matching the hazard management cycle. 5 sections
  • Movement should be encouraged by considering job content and furniture design The 4 reference postures are intended to illustrate the diversity of body positions observed at computer workstations.
  • Are The New Best Practice ‘Guidelines for Using Computers’ Guiding YOUR Practise Yet?

    1. 1. Are the new best practice ‘Guidelines for using computers’ guiding your practise yet? Marion Edwin Ergonomist and Director, Optimise Ltd PO Box 390, Motueka 7143 Chris Polaczuk and Lorraine Gardner Wood Programme Managers, ACC PO Box 242, Wellington 6011 [email_address] [email_address]
    2. 2. Guidelines for using computers: preventing and managing discomfort, pain and injury
    3. 3. Gestation... <ul><li>2004 DPI programme managers recognised anecdotal feedback that the ‘Approved Code of Practice for the Use of Visual Display Units in the Place of work’ (1995) was outdated </li></ul><ul><li>2005 commissioned report from Research NZ verifying that an update was in order </li></ul><ul><li>2006 a team of ergonomists and researchers lead by Dr Mark Boocock at AUT, was engaged to review relevant international standards, literature and legislation about computer use and technology, and to draft a new document that was relevant to New Zealand </li></ul><ul><li>There was then a lengthy gap in communications and action as a response from DoL was awaited </li></ul>
    4. 4. 2 nd trimester... <ul><li>It was picked up again in 2009 with a renewed drive from the DPI team to get the document to publication </li></ul><ul><li>The team involved with the writing of this finished document included Dr Mark Boocock, Dr David Tappin, Chris and Lorraine, Demi Naylor from DoL, and myself </li></ul><ul><li>It was recognised that a further review of the literature was required to ensure that the document was current – this was done and information included </li></ul><ul><li>The document was re-worked to better fit with the DPI model and with a mind to how it might be used in NZ </li></ul>
    5. 5. 3rd trimester... BIRTH! <ul><li>By early 2010 a draft was made available for consultation, and feedback included in the final content </li></ul><ul><li>A initial run of ‘Guidelines to using computers’ was made available for the only ACC-provided free training (in Nelson, prior to the NZES conference in November 2010) </li></ul>
    6. 6. Context <ul><ul><li>Consequent to the publication of these guidelines, in May 2011 the 1995 VDU Code was formally revoked </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legally, the Computer Guidelines are a ‘best practice guideline’ rather than a code of practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>So rather than containing strict, specific directions they explain in practical terms how you can meet your obligations under the HSE Act to provide a safe place of work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They reflect the current state of knowledge about computer use, particularly with respect to the early identification and management of computer-related discomfort, pain and injury </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Overview of guideline <ul><li>Describes how we can work together </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>computer users </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>employers / managers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- occupational health and safety personnel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>human resources personnel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Targets efficient, safe and healthy computer use </li></ul><ul><li>Provides practical advice on </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>effective work organisation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>appropriate work environments and furniture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>set up of a computer workstation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the selection of suitable computer hardware /software </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>training for computer users </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Key changes <ul><li>Clear use of hazard management approach . This gives the overall structure to the document… </li></ul>
    9. 9. Route map to document <ul><li>1 Identifying and understanding potential health issues </li></ul><ul><li>2 Assessing potential hazards </li></ul><ul><li>3 Controlling hazards </li></ul><ul><li>4 Managing potential health issues </li></ul><ul><li>5 Health monitoring and programme review </li></ul>Hazard management cycle adapted and colour coded to guidelines document...
    10. 10. Key changes... <ul><li>Design work/tasks that facilitate variety – 4 reference postures, not just one. Furniture should facilitate and encourage workers to move </li></ul><ul><li>Concept of ‘fit’. Furniture and equipment should accommodate the user (anthropometry) and the task. </li></ul><ul><li>One size does not fit all, or all tasks. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition of highly variable and </li></ul><ul><li>rapidly changing technology and use </li></ul><ul><li>of computers – portable devices </li></ul><ul><li>Strong link to DPI approach </li></ul>
    11. 11. Relevance to you? <ul><li>If you use a computer </li></ul><ul><li>If you employ people using computers </li></ul><ul><li>If you supervise or manage people using computers </li></ul><ul><li>If you assess or rehabilitate computer users </li></ul><ul><li>If you advise or enforce regarding the health and safety of computer users </li></ul><ul><li>If you teach computer use </li></ul><ul><li>If you sell/design gear for computer use </li></ul><ul><li>If your children use computers... </li></ul>
    12. 12. Document availability, training <ul><li>ACC website publications – download or order hard copy </li></ul><ul><li>Hard copies right here... </li></ul><ul><li>DoL website publications download </li></ul><ul><li>Training – providers listed on ACC website </li></ul>
    13. 13. <ul><li>Any questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Marion Edwin CNZErg </li></ul><ul><li>Ergonomist </li></ul><ul><li>Optimise Ltd </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>03 5268867 0276261300 </li></ul>