The Ergonomic Workplace: Ensuring Offices are fit for Purpose

April 25, 2014

Sitting for prolonged periods of time without any physical activity has become the norm in many workplaces. A new study carried out by the University of Chester has found that this prolonged sedentary lifestyle leads to significant risk of diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

The research published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine focused on standing-based office work. It found that blood glucose levels could improve significantly from even a small time spent standing. It also asserted that the ‘average Brit’ spends nearly 9 hours a day sitting down.

The majority of people spend most of their time sitting due to their office-based jobs. The workplace should be one area you feel entirely comfortable and able to work without problems but your wellbeing should also be considered.

From a legal perspective your employer is bound by a range of regulations which protect your right to comfort whilst working. The Workplace Health, Safety & Welfare Regulations 1992 state that the employer has the responsibility to provide suitable seating. This means the seating needs to be comfortable and this applies to all workers including those with additional needs or effected by long-term back problems.

Ergonomic Furniture to limit Compensation Claims

The risk of unsuitable seating is long-term chronic injury and the number of office workers turning to personal injury employers is increasing. Chronic pain is something that takes a lot of management and can eventually mean that employees are unable to work without consistent pain, leading them to time off work or permanently being signed off.

The modern workplace should ensure that all employees have the seating requirements for optimal working in place. Ergonomic office furniture is designed with comfort and functionality in mind and should mean that no employee finds themselves living with chronic pain or long-term back problems.

Employees should also take advantage of their break times and ensure they leave their desks, stretch their legs and take the pressure of their backs.

Repetitive Strain Injury

Another leading complaint found in the modern office stems from computer use. Using computers for a whole shift without the right wrist support can lead to damaging repetitive strain injuries. These injuries can be so severe that individuals require pain relief injections and even surgery.

More companies are finding employees and ex-employees are turning to personal injury solicitors with claims for compensation and they’re more than within their rights. Repetitive strain injury isn’t in the spotlight the way it was which means many companies have stopped being so vigilant, ensuring workers have a safe and supportive environment to work in.

The office is not one of the top places you’d expect to suffer a personal injury but it does happen, more regularly than we think. At Lamb & Co. we provide expert advice and take on the claims of individuals from all different types of industry. Workplace accidents and injuries are treated with the same level of dedication and care whether they occurred on a building site or in an office.