Office work - 1,210 entries found
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You can't do without lighting
L'indispensable lumière ... [in French]
The importance of lighting in the work environment is emphasized. To avoid visual fatigue, it is necessary for lighting to provide proper visual acuity and comfort, as well as contribute to a pleasant environment. The role of lighting specialists is described and examples of alterations of office lighting in order to improve worker comfort and satisfaction are provided. It is important that the lighting specialist be independent of lighting equipment manufacturers or their distribution channels.
Performances Humaines et Techniques, Mar.-Apr. 1999, No.99, p.14-15.
Brisson C., Montreuil S., Punnett L.
Effects of an ergonomic training program on workers with video display units
The effect of an ergonomic training programme for video display unit (VDU) users on their work posture and on the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders was evaluated. For both a study group that received the training and for a control group that did not, data were collected through direct observation of the workstations, self-administered questionnaires and a physical examination. The prevalence of the three postural stressors evaluated (twisted neck, inappropriate height of visual target, broken hand-wrist line) decreased in the experimental group after the training. In the control group, two of the three stressors decreased in frequency but to a lesser extent. Some of these beneficial changes were more frequent in workers under 40 years of age, for whom there was also a decrease in the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, June 1999, Vol.25, No.3, p.255-263. Illus. 34 ref.
Schneider T., Skov P., Valbjørn O.
Challenges for indoor environment research in the new office
This paper discusses new directions for indoor environment research for the following four themes: the current change in office work patterns, workplace design and increasing demands on the work force; the large individual variations in requirements for optimal conditions pointing at the key factors of individual response; psychosocial factors as determinants of symptoms, comfort, and productivity; and measures of transient, non-specific symptoms in the indoor environment (sick-building syndrome) and identification of its causes.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Dec. 1999, Vol.25, No.6, p.574-579. Illus. 33 ref.
Acoustics - Measurement of airborne noise emitted by information technology and telecommunication equipment
Acoustique - Mesurage du bruit aérien émis par les équipements liés aux technologies de l'information et aux télécommunications [in French]
This international standard specifies procedures for measuring and reporting the noise emission of information technology and telecommunication equipment. It is considered part of a "noise test code" for this type of equipment, and is based on basic noise emission standards ISO 3741, ISO 3744, ISO 3745 and ISO 11201 (see also CIS 97-636). The basic emission quantity is the A-weighted sound power level which may be induced for comparing equipment of the same type but from different manufacturers, or comparing different equipment. Replaces CIS 88-2055.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Case postale 56, 1211 Genève 20, Switzerland, 2nd ed., 1999. v, 61p. Illus. 7 ref.
Eisfeller G., Lorenz D., Schubert P.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin
Implementation in enterprises of the Ordinance on VDU Use at Work. Collective agreements and methods for assessing working conditions with visual display units
Integration der Bildschirmarbeitsverordnung in die betriebliche Praxis - Betriebsvereinbarungen und Methoden zur Beurteilung der Arbeitsbedingungen an Bildschirmgeräten [in German]
The rising proportion of work tasks carried out with visual display units (VDUs) contributes to the increasing incidence of musculoskeletal disease, stress and impairment of visual faculties. This report examines the practical implementation of the German Ordinance on VDU Use at Work. In a questionnaire sent to 200 companies and answered by 137, it was found that only 29 had a collaborative agreement on the organization of VDU work, and that the aims and requirements of the underlying health and safety regulations had not been taken into account. With the help of check lists and flow diagrammes, this booklet gives detailed advice as to how risks must be assessed and workplaces and work schedules designed to reduce risks. As an example, frequent short breaks are recommended.
Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Postfach 10 11 10, 27511 Bremerhaven, Germany, 1999. 108p. Illus. 118 ref.
Cutler T.L., Breysse P.N., Schiffman A., Kanchanaraksa S., Rooney B.C.
Comparison of personal exposure meter placement for the determination of office worker ELF magnetic field exposures
This article compares extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic field exposures measured by placing personal exposure meters (PEMs) at the head, chest and waist level for a group of office workers. Twenty-three volunteers were asked to wear three PEMs simultaneously; one was attached to a baseball cap worn on the head, one was attached to a band and worn around the neck (positioned on the chest), and one was worn in a belted pouch around the waist (positioned on the right side of the hip). The effect of PEM placement was evaluated by comparing full-shift average exposures and daily maximum or peak exposure. Results suggest that for office workers PEM meter placement on the body does not produce large differences in full-shift average ELF magnetic flux density exposures. However, the hip position produced the largest daily maximum or peak exposures. It is recommended that PEMs be placed on the hip for exposure assessments in office environments, because this placement is the most commonly used and the most convenient, and it resulted in the highest magnetic field exposures.
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, Sep.-Oct. 1999, Vol.60, No.5, p.647-650. Illus. 14 ref.
Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs) - Part 6: Guidance on the work environment
Exigences ergonomiques pour le travail de bureau avec terminaux à écran de visualisation (TEV) - Partie 6: Guide général relatif à l'environnement de travail [in French]
Part 6 of this international standard specifies ergonomic requirements for work environment and workstations for work systems where VDTs are used for office work. Main factors to consider are: natural and artificial lighting; noise; mechanical vibration; electromagnetic fields and static electricity; thermal comfort, space organisation; workplace layout.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Case postale 56, 1211 Genève 20, Switzerland, 1st ed., 1999. iv, 32p. Illus. 29 ref.
NIOSH publications on video display terminals
This revised compilation (see CIS 88-170 and 92-179 for earlier editions) comprises a bibliography of publications on video display terminals (VDTs) written by NIOSH staff or funded by NIOSH, along with full-text copies of selected references. These include results of NIOSH studies and recommendations on VDTs regarding reproductive effects, exposure to radiation, musculoskeletal diseases, keyboard ergonomics, rest breaks and glare. Information on how to obtain listed items is included.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA, 3rd ed., 1999. v, 134p. Illus. Bibl.ref.
Presidential Decrees No.159, 160 and 163/99 extending to the Territory of Macao the provisions of certain ILO Conventions [Portugal]
Decretos do Presidente da República n°s 159, 160 e 163/99, [que] estendem ao território de Macau [certas] convenções da OIT [in Portuguese]
Presidential Decrees extending to the territory of Macao, in the same terms as those committing the Portuguese State, the provisions of ILO Conventions No.120 concerning hygiene in commerce and offices (see CIS 89-1759), No.155 concerning occupational safety and health and the working environment (CIS 82-890) and No.148 concerning the protection of workers against air pollution, noise and vibration (CIS 78-1198).
Diário da República, 8 July 1999, Series I-A, No.157, p.4237-4238.
Chaparro A., Bohan M., Fernandez J., Choi S.D., Kattel B.
The impact of age on computer input device use: Psychophysical and physiological measures
This study examined the effects of aging on performance and preferences for two computer pointing devices (mouse and trackball). The results show that older adults (mean age = 70) moved more slowly than younger adults (mean age = 32), particularly for distant targets, yet their movements were less variable. EMG (RMS) recordings from the forearm flexor and extensor muscles showed no age-related differences between the results of mouse and trackball use. However, ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) indicated that older adults perceived greater levels of exertion than younger adults when using the mouse during click-and-drag tasks. Given the reduced grip and pinch force of older adults, manipulation of the mouse and trackball required a greater percentage of their maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) compared to younger adults. In addition, the mouse requires a larger range of motion than the trackball. These findings in conjunction with the RPE results imply that the trackball may confer greater benefit for the older computer user.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Sep. 1999, Vol.24, No.5, p.503-513. Illus. 21 ref.
Fernandez J.E., Agarwal R., Landwehr H.R., Poonawala M., Garcia D.T.
The effects of arm supports during light assembly and computer work tasks
Three different investigations were conducted on the implementation of an arm support system and its effect on the level of pain and/or discomfort experienced by subjects while completing either a light assembly or a computer typing task. The types of arm support systems included no arm supports, Ergorest articulating arm supports, chair arm supports at maximum breadth, midpoint breadth, minimum breadth and counter-balanced arm slings. Results indicated that arm supports significantly impacted comfort, effort required, RPE, EMG activity and heart rate. It was concluded that in light assembly and computer work tasks, an arm support system would be recommended to minimize effort and RPE, and to maximize comfort. Computer use and light assembly work are an integral part of various workplaces which often require employees to work in constrained unsupported postures, at repetitive tasks and in precision work with hands, arms and fingers. The paper proposes a solution that could aid individuals in these environments.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Sep. 1999, Vol.24, No.5, p.493-502. 14 ref.
Verbeek J.H.A.M., van der Beek A.J.
Psychosocial factors at work and back pain: A prospective study in office workers
A prospective study was carried out among municipal social service employees to investigate whether psychosocial factors at work are correlated with back pain prevalence at follow-up. Participants were questioned on personal characteristics, psychosocial factors at work, physical workload, back pain experience, and general health and well-being. Back pain was assessed as twelve month prevalence and pain intensity on a visual analogue scale (VAS). In a univariate analysis, high job demands, confinement to the workplace, depression, psychological complaints, and general health complaints, were positively related to back pain prevalence at follow-up. In a multivariate analysis, however, none of the odds ratios for psychosocial stressors differed significantly from one another. VAS pain intensity was the best predictor of back pain at follow-up. Initial back pain with low intensity and high intensity significantly predicted the prevalence of back pain at follow-up with significantly raised odds ratios of 3.0 and 10.3, respectively. In conclusion, the study does not provide clear evidence that psychosocial factors at work are correlated with back pain.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, Jan.-Mar. 1999, Vol.12, No.1, p.29-39. 33 ref.
Forsman M., Kadefors R., Zhang Q., Birch L., Palmerud G.
Motor-unit recruitment in the trapezius muscle during arm movements and in VDU precision work
Shoulder myalgia, which is common in many occupations involving light-to-moderate manual work, may be due to an overuse of low threshold muscle fibres, causing damage at the muscle cell level. The study was undertaken to investigate to what extent it is possible to track low threshold motor-units in non-isometric conditions in the trapezius muscle, and to study the effect of arm movements on recruitment and firing patterns. Intramuscular fine wire electrodes were inserted in the trapezius muscle of four volunteers, who performed arm movements as well as standardized work using a computer mouse. Results showed that it was possible to perform signal tracking during slow movements and that there were motor-units that were active over a wide range of shoulder abduction movement, as well as in work with computer mouse. Stereotypic recruitment patterns are therefore shown to exist in the trapezius muscle not only in static work, but also in work situations involving arm and shoulder movements.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Oct. 1999, Vol.24, No.6, p.619-630. Illus. 24 ref.
Kleine B.U., Schumann N.P., Brandl I., Grieshaber R., Scholle H.C.
Surface EMG of shoulder and back muscles and posture analysis in secretaries typing at visual display units
Female office workers typed texts spoken from tape during three 1-h-long sessions. EMG was recorded from the erector spinae, trapezium, deltoid and sternocleidomastoid muscles. Root mean square (RMS) and power spectrum median frequency of the EMG were calculated. The normalized RMS of the left and right trapezium muscle increased, while the median frequency did not change. The increase of the normalized RMS was significantly lower when the linear influence of posture was excluded. On average, the distance between C7 and the left and right acromion decreased within each working an hour. C7 became lower on average by 5.5mm within an hour, whereas the acromions became lower by only 1.7mm (left) and 3.3mm (right). The increase in trapezium muscle activity was partly related to a lifting of the shoulders to compensate a slight slumping of the back. The EMG activity increase is also attributed to fatigue, to attention-related activity or to both. Training of the back muscles and a varied organisation of work might have a preventive effect with respect to musculoskeletal complaints in VDU workers.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Sep. 1999, Vol.72, No.6, p.387-394. Illus. 53 ref.
Collection of articles on office safety from an Indian perspective. Topics covered: summary of hazards in office work; the nature of office and clerical work; safety in the retail industry; fire safety in offices; ocular and visual problems in office workers; repetitive motion injuries in computer users; safe use of computers; safety of chairs; safety of lifts; mobile phone hazards. Some of the articles are reproductions of articles in the ILO Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety.
Industrial Safety Chronicle, Apr.-June 1999, Vol.XXX, No.1, Special issue, p.13-50. Illus.
Menzies D., Pasztor J., Rand T., Bourbeau J.
Germicidal ultraviolet irradiation in air conditioning systems: Effect on office worker health and well-being - A pilot study
The objectives of this study were to test whether installation and operation of gernimicidal ultraviolet (GUV) lights in central ventilation systems would be feasible, without adverse effects, undetected by building occupants, and effective in eliminating microbial contamination. 104 workers participated; their environmental satisfaction ratings were not different whether GUV lights were on or off. Headache, difficulty concentrating and eye irritation occurred less often with GUV lights on whereas skin rash or irritation was more common. Overall, the average number of work-related symptoms reported was 1.1 with GUV lights off compared with 0.9 with GUV lights on. Installation and operation of GUV lights in central heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems of office buildings is feasible, cannot be detected by workers, and does not seem to result in any adverse effects.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 1999, Vol.56, No.6, p.397-402. 34 ref.
Tittiranonda P., Rempel D., Armstrong T., Burastero S.
Workplace use of adjustable keyboard: Adjustment preferences and effect on wrist posture
Thirty-five computer users used an adjustable split design keyboard for 7-14 days during their usual work and were instructed to adjust the keyboard to the opening angle they preferred. At the end of this period, three-dimensional motion analysis was performed to compare the distribution of wrist joint angles while subjects typed on a conventional keyboard and the adjustable keyboard adjusted to the subject's preferred angle. The mean preferred opening angle was 14°±10°. The mean ulnar deviation of the subjects who selected the opening angles between 21 and 28° (n = 12) decreased from 18°±5 on the flat to 14°±5 on the adjustable, while those who selected 0 to 10° and 11 to 20° split angles showed no significant differences in ulnar deviation. Mean wrist extension on the adjustable keyboard was 17°±5 and was significantly less than the 24°±5 observed on the conventional keyboard and most likely due to the presence of palm support. On average, subjects reported that the adjustable keyboard was more comfortable in comparison with the conventional keyboard.
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, May-June 1999, Vol.60, No.3, p.340-348. Illus. 27 ref.
Lewis R.D., Feir D., Roegner K., Nayan A., Vordtriede S.
Investigation of bites and itching in a word processing department
This study investigated reported bites and itching in a word processing division of a municipal department. Bird and rodent mites were suspected as causes of the bites because of the large population of pigeons around window ledges and the sighting of mice in the office. No single cause of the bites was identified; however, a combination of surface-borne dust on desk tops and floors, the presence of minute quantities of mineral wool and fibre glass, relatively dry conditions, little or no outdoor air supplied to the work space, evidence of seasonally associated high work load, labour/management strife, and the presence of computers being used on a 24-hour basis (possibly leading to high levels of static electricity) were suspected as multiple causes of most of the "bites." After removal of loose mineral wool and dirt from an air handling unit and implementation of an aggressive cleaning routine, no more bites or itching were reported after a 6-month, 1- and 2-year follow-up period.
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, May-June 1999, Vol.60, No.3, p.310-316. Illus. 13 ref.
Schnoz M., Läubli T., Weiss J.A., Krueger H.
Activation of the finger and trapezius muscles in repetitive short and long term finger movements
Aktivierung der Finger- und Trapezmuskulatur bei repetitiven Kurz- und Langzeit-Fingerbewegungen [in German]
Nine persons aged between 24 and 39 were examined for muscle activity in key operations in order to study the exertion of finger, upper arm and neck muscles during repetitive work. The subjects tapped with the index finger at different frequencies on a rigid key, first during 8s, then for the longest possible time. Surface electromyogramme (EMG) signals from six muscles were measured during maximum voluntary contraction, relaxation and key operation. The force applied to the key was also recorded. Static contraction was found to be present during fast tapping, slow tapping and relaxation in the finger musclesand trapezius but not in the upper arm muscles. Phasic co-activity became significant with time in the trapezius. Incomplete trapezius relaxation could be a reason for work-related neck pain.
Zeitschrift für Arbeitswissenschaft, Aug. 1999, Vol.53, No.2, p.131-138. Illus. 21 ref.
Spiessbach B., Knebelau M., Bender S.
Call center: Harbouring hope or stress
Callcenter: Hoffnungsträger oder Belastungsträger? [in German]
Call centres belong to the growing tertiary sector of the economy, where stress factors and hazards differ in important ways from those in production-type occupations. The present article describes the work organization and qualifications needed, and two employees describe their work conditions in an interview. Occupational hazards (work with VDU, noise, poor ergonomics) and stress factors are reviewed. They lead to high absenteeism and turnover. Managerial monitoring, a harried time management, scarce breaks, and, in some cases, the absence of satisfactory work contracts, poor job security and difficult working schedules are among stress factors highlighted. Highly stressed vocal cords, neck aches, concentration and sleep disorders, even burnout syndromes were reported.
Ergo-Med, Nov.-Dec. 1999, Vol.23, No.6, p.246-253. Illus. 3 ref.
Gerard M.J., Armstrong T.J., Franzblau A., Martin B.J., Rempel D.M.
The effects of keyswitch stiffness on typing force, finger electromyography, and subjective discomfort
The effects of keyswitch stiffness and key action on typing force, electromyography (EMG) and subjective preference were examined. Keyboards with an audible key click and key activation force of 0.72N and with no key click that were identical in design but had different key activation forces (0.28N, 0.56N,and 0.83N) were used. Twenty-four female subjects typed on each keyboard for 15 minutes while typing force and left-hand surface EMG of the finger flexor and extensor muscles were monitored. Subjects then used one of the keyboards at their workstations for seven workdays and were monitored again. This procedure was repeated for all four keyboards. Results suggest that increasing "make" force (= actuation force) causes typing force and EMG to increase but that the ratio of 90th percentile typing force to "make" force decreases as "make" force increases. Subjective discomfort was significantly higher for the keyboard with 0.83N "make" force.
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, Nov.-Dec. 1999, Vol.60, No.6, p.762-769. Illus. 36 ref.
Marklin R.W., Simoneau G.G., Monroe J.F.
Wrist and forearm posture from typing on split and vertically inclined computer keyboards
A study was conducted on 90 experienced office workers to determine how commercially available alternative computer keyboards affected wrist and forearm posture. The alternative keyboards tested had the QWERTY layout of keys and were of three designs: split fixed angle, split adjustable angle and vertically inclined. When set up correctly, commercially available split keyboards reduced mean ulnar deviation of the right and left wrists from 12° to within 5° of a neutral position compared with a conventional keyboard. The finding that split keyboards place the wrist closer to a neutral posture in the radial/ulnar plane substantially reduces one occupational risk factor of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs): ulnar deviation of the wrist.
Human Factors, Dec. 1999, Vol.41, No.4, p.559-569. Illus. 20 ref.
Rempel D., Tittiranonda P., Burastero S., Hudes M., So Y.
Effect of keyboard keyswitch design on hand pain
Twenty computer users who had reported hand or wrist symptoms of paresthesia were randomly assigned to two keyboards of conventional layout but differing in the force-displacement characteristics of the keys. During a 12-week period, use of keyboard A led to a reduction in hand pain and an improved physical examination finding compared with keyboard B. There was no corresponding improvement in hand function or median nerve latency. Topics: carpal-tunnel syndrome; design of equipment; ergonomics; hand; keyboard operations; musculoskeletal diseases; nervous conduction; paresis; wrist.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 1999, Vol.41, No.2, p.111-119. 36 ref.
New means of communication and working styles are having a profound effect on building design. The problems that new technologies and premises present for safety and health specialists are discussed. Topics: computers; electromagnetic radiation; ergonomics; landscaped offices; man-computer interfaces; mobile telephony; office equipment; office work; radiofrequency radiation; telephone communications; workplace design.
Safety and Health Practitioner, May 1999, Vol.17, No.5, p.26-28. Illus. 3 ref.
Kayis B., Hoang K.
Static three-dimensional modelling of prolonged seated posture
Prolonged seating can cause musculoskeletal problems in the long term if poor postures are adopted. A three-dimensional static model of the body to calculate the intervertebral disc compression at the fifth lumbar disc was built. SAMMIE, a computer aided ergonomics package was used for modelling a computer operator workstation and determination of joint centre locations and joint angles in a seated posture. Experimentation was also performed to determine the body-mass distribution on the seat used. No significant difference between male and female body-mass distribution was found. The static model found that postures with the seat pan and backrest reclined predicted the lowest disc compression. Postures in which the operator was bent forwards gave the highest disc loadings. Topics: body mechanics; computer simulation; computer terminals; ergonomic evaluation; mathematical models; sitting posture.
Applied Ergonomics, June 1999, Vol.30, No.3, p.255-262. Illus. 42 ref.
Ergonomic requirements for work with visual displays based on flat panels - Part 1: Introduction
Exigences ergonomiques pour travail sur écrans de visualisation à panneaux plats - Partie 1: Introduction [in French]
Topics: CRT display terminals; design of equipment; ergonomics; evaluation of equipment; ISO; luminance measurement; office work; reflection; standard.
International Organization for Standardization, Case postale 56, 1211 Genève 20, Switzerland, 1 Oct. 1999. iv, 3p. 8 ref.
Fernström E.A.C., Åborg C.M.
Alterations in shoulder muscle activity due to changes in data entry organisation
Shoulder muscular load was measured in 22 females working at their data entry workplaces, during a whole working day. The activity from both trapezius muscles was measured by electromyography before and after a reorganization programme intended to redistribute repetitive work and provide new work tasks. The change in work organization did not change the magnitude of muscular load nor the duration and frequency of rest periods, but decreased musculoskeletal problems. The subjects' increased desk work involved greater muscular load than did data entry, but also allowed more movement. The changes in work tasks seemed to be important, although small. In repetitive work, organizational changes aimed at reducing musculoskeletal disorders should focus on providing employees with tasks that afford variations in muscular load. Topics: cervicobrachial syndrome; CRT display terminals; data processing equipment; ergonomic evaluation; muscle contractor activity; muscular work; office work; physical workload; repetitive strain injury; repetitive work; shoulder; work design; workplace design.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Mar. 1999, Vol.23, No.3, p.231-240. Illus. 23 ref.
Burgess-Limerick R., Plooy A., Fraser K., Ankrum D.R.
The influence of computer monitor height on head and neck posture
The influence of "eye level" and "low" monitor locations on the head and neck posture of subjects performing a word processing task was investigated. Lowering the monitor to a position 18° below eye level had no significant effect on the position of the neck relative to the trunk, while mean flexion of the head relative to the neck increased by 5°. In the "eye level" condition the mean gaze angle was 17° below the eye-ear line, and in the "low" condition the average gaze angle was 25° below the eye-ear line. Lowering the monitor thus allows gaze angles closer to that preferred (somewhere between 35° and 44° below the eye-ear line) to be adopted. This suggests that recommendations of the "top of monitor at eye height" type must be questioned. Topics: angle of vision; computer terminals; CRT display terminals; design of equipment; ergonomic evaluation; man-computer interfaces; motion study; visual comfort; work posture.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Mar. 1999, Vol.23, No.3, p.171-179. Illus. 21 ref.
Karlqvist L., Bernmark E., Ekenvall L., Hagberg M., Isaksson A., Rostö T.
Computer mouse and track-ball operation: Similarities and differences in posture, muscular load and perceived exertion
Posture, muscular load, perceived exertion, preference and productivity were investigated in 20 healthy VDU-operators during text editing with two different data input devices, a mouse and a track-ball. Arm support reduced muscle activity in the neck/shoulder region irrespective of the input device used. A table height lower than 3cm above elbow height allowed arm and shoulder support without undue shoulder elevation. Work with the track-ball entailed more wrist extension than work with the mouse. Perceived exertion ratings were lower for the shoulder and higher for the hand with track-ball than with mouse operation. Women elevated and rotated the right shoulder outwards more often than men during work with both input devices. Electromyography results showed higher activity among the women than among the men in two of the examined muscles. This may relate to anthropometric differences which influence biomechanical load moments or to the observed differences in working techniques between men and women. Topics: computer terminals; design of equipment; ergonomic evaluation; forearm rotation; man-computer interfaces; measurement of load on muscles; muscle contractor activity; muscular work; physical workload; sex-linked differences; upper extremities; work posture.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Mar. 1999, Vol.23, No.3, p.157-169. Illus. 26 ref.
The costs of accidents and work-related ill-health to a cheque clearing department of a financial services organisation
A study in a cheque clearing department of a financial services organization showed that the total cost of accidents and work-related ill-health was not regarded as substantial and was unlikely to be a key motivating factor for improving health and safety management. Ill-health costs were far in excess of accident costs, the majority coming from upper limb symptoms, and were possibly underestimated. Results suggest that the nature of cheque clearing work does not create significant amounts of non-injury accidents. It was recommended that the costing data be used as part of a risk management approach to health and safety to help focus selective control programmes on the identified 'high cost' losses, i.e. upper limb symptoms. Topics: banking and insurance; cost of accidents; cost of diseases; economic aspects; office work; upper extremity disorders; workmen's compensation.
Safety Science, Feb. 1999, Vol.31, No.1, p.59-69. 17 ref.
Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs) - Part 17: Form filling dialogues
Exigences ergonomiques pour travail de bureau avec terminaux à écrans de visualisation (TEV) - Partie 17: Dialogues de type remplissage de formulaires [in French]
Part 17 of this international standard provides conditional recommendations on dialogue design, input design and output design for computer dialogues in which form-filling and dialogue boxes are used to accomplish typical office tasks. It pertains to form-filling through both character-based and bit-mapped screens and input through keyboards and optional pointing devices such as mice. In addition, it includes the use of non-text methods for providing form entry data, such as list boxes. These recommendations can be used by designers throughout the development process and can also represent equipment-selection criteria in the procurement process.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Case postale 56, 1211 Genève 20, Switzerland, 1st ed., 1998. vii, 35p. Illus. 18 ref. Price: CHF 122.00.
Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs) - Part 12: Presentation of information
Exigences ergonomiques pour travail de bureau avec terminaux à écrans de visualisation (TEV) - Partie 12: Présentation de l'information [in French]
Part 12 of this international standard provides ergonomic recommendations for the presentation of information and specific properties of presented information on text-based and graphical user interfaces used for office tasks. It provides recommendations for the design and evaluation of visual presentation of information, including coding techniques. These recommendations can be used throughout the design process. The coverage of colour is limited to ergonomic recommendations for the use of colour for highlighting and categorizing information. Additional recommendations for the use of colour are provided in Part 8 of this standard.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Case postale 56, 1211 Genève 20, Switzerland, 1st ed., 1998. v, 46p. Illus. 4 ref. Price: CHF 142.00.
Do you know the right way of working with visual display units (VDU)?
Work at visual display units (VDUs) may give rise to eyestrain and muscular pain of the back, neck, arm, shoulders and wrists. This information leaflet provides guidance on ergonomic principles to be applied in VDU workstation design and work practices. Contents: checklist of workstation features (screen, keyboard, mouse, chair, table size); position of the VDU; glare prevention; lighting; work practices; work posture; medical examinations.
Ministry of Manpower, Occupational Health Department, 18 Havelock Road #05-01, Singapore 059764, Republic of Singapore, 1998. 6p. Illus.
International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA)
Visual display units: Radiation protection guidance
Arabic translation of the ILO publication analysed under CIS 94-693. It provides an overview of knowledge concerning radiation issues of work with visual display units (VDUs). Contents: principles of VDU construction; types, sources, measurements and levels of electromagnetic fields from VDUs; assessment of exposure and laboratory studies; health effects and human studies; organization of prevention and control measures. In appendix: statement of the IRCA Committee concerning alleged radiation risks from VDUs. As an overall conclusion based on current biomedical knowledge, it is stated that there are no health hazards associated with electromagnetic radiation or fields from VDUs. Further research is recommended, however, in particular in order to find out whether some skin complaints might be related to VDU work, and whether there might exist interactions between low-frequency magnetic fields and biological systems.
ILO Publications, International Labour Office, 1211 Genève 22, Switzerland, 1998. 107p. 89 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
Maintaining portable electrical equipment in offices and other low risk environments
Cynnal a chadw offer trydanol symudol mewn swyddfeydd ac amgylcheddau risg isel eraill [in Welsh]
Translation into Welsh of the document originally abstracted as CIS 96-2060. It is a brief practical guide to the inspection and testing of portable electrical equipment in offices and similar environments. The various hazards and corresponding testing are covered in a question-and-answer form. A check list is provided for the kind of testing necessary for various kinds of equipment.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 6FS, United Kingdom, 1998. 8p. Illus. 4 ref.
Cail F., Cnockaert J.C., Méreau P.
Visual display units - Guide to a methodological approach for occupational physicians
Les écrans de visualisation - Guide méthodologique pour le médecin du travail [in French]
The new working environments resulting from the spread of information technology require an understanding of the problems of visual load, workplace layout and task organization. This guide is aimed at helping occupational physicians avoid or correct situations likely to give rise to physical or mental health problems among operators working on visual display units. Contents include: basic concepts of visual fatigue; display of information; the physical environment; postural constraints; psychological factors; aptitude testing; medical follow-up. Replaces CIS 85-981.
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, 4th ed., Dec. 1998. 83p. Illus. 21ref.
Ergonomics problems in call centres
Ergonomieprobleme in Call Centern [in German]
A call centre which provides advice to customers and accepts telephone orders for the purchase of components for digital television sets is used to illustrate the shortcomings of workplace design and the stress faced by employees in call centres. The call centre with 36 workstations is accommodated in an open-plan office. Each workstation is equipped with a computer and a 21-inch visual display unit in addition to the telephone. The workers have to handle a minimum of three programmes simultaneously on the computer. The visual display units assume much space on the tables leaving very little room for the arms and hands to rest. There is no local illumination and no sound isolation. Pay is low. Time pressure and pressure to achieve a large number of purchase orders are high. Pain in the neck, shoulder and arm, headaches and eyestrain are frequently reported by workers. In addition, job dissatisfaction is high. Aside from an improvement of the ergonomic workplace design it is recommended to train workers to improve their communication skills and to pay them in accordance with their performance.
Computer Fachwissen für Betriebs- und Personalräte, Dec. 1998, Vol.7, No.12, p.10-16. Illus.
Order No.973 of 1 Dec. 1998 of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy on occupational safety and hygiene in places of work equipped with computer screens [Poland]
Rozporządzenie Ministra Pracy i Polityki Socjalnej z dnia 1 grudnia 1998 r. w sprawie bezpieczeństwa i higieny pracy na stanowiskach wyposażonych w monitory ekranowe [in Polish]
Topics: angle of vision; computer terminals; CRT display terminals; ergonomic evaluation; law; Poland; visual comfort; work posture.
Dziennik Ustaw, 10 Dec. 1998, No.148, p.5392-5394.
Hernández Calleja A.
Acoustic comfort: Noise in offices
Confort acústico: el ruido en oficinas [in Spanish]
This information note describes the two steps of the analysis for an office noise discomfort assessment. Firstly, the noise sources have to be identified (external noise, noise from the building or the office equipment, noise from persons); secondly the acoustic comfort has to be assessed (sound level, interference with conversations, noise reverberation).
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 1998. 6p. Illus. 10 ref.
Grosjean R., Ackermans H., de Ridder M., de Meester M.
Determination of free silica in a set of toners
A recent publication suggests a link between occupational exposure to toners (e.g. in a photo-copying shop) and a pneumoconiosis-type of disease. A set of toners used for printing or photo-copying was analysed to identify the presence of crystalline silica. The results of this survey indicate that the use of the analysed toners does not represent a risk of silicosis.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Apr. 1998, Vol.42, No.3, p.219-220. 8 ref.
Giannini A.M., Bonaiuto P.
Stress characteristics and conditions in people working with computers: Ideas for preventive action
Caratteristiche e condizioni dello stress negli operatori al computer: Indicazioni per la prevenzione [in Italian]
Major study of mental stress in people who work regularly with computers. Contents: definition of stress and its opposite states; criteria for the classification of different kinds of stress; study techniques; short-term stress and the so-called alarm phase; principal medium- and long-term effects of stress - resistance and burn-out phases; stress, comfort and computer and telecommunication technologies - work with computers; ideas for prevention (main areas for intervention: training, work equipment, working environment, job activities, factors outside the job, personality issues, forms of specific job training).
Istituto Italiano di Medicina Sociale, Via P.S. Mancini, 28, 00196 Roma, Italy, 1998. xi, 112p. Illus. Approx. 300 ref.
Working with VDUs - The implementation of Directive 90/270/EEC in Sweden and Germany
Detailed commentary on the implementation in Sweden and Germany of the European directive concerning visual display units (see CIS 90-1069).
European Trade Union Technical Bureau for Health and Safety (TUTB), 155 Bd Emile Jacqmain, 1210 Bruxelles, Belgium, 1998. 41p. Illus. 16 ref.
Engineering Employers' Federation (EEF)
Think about office health and safety - The employee's guide
This guide aimed at office employees is a reminder of basic safety and health practices at the workplace. Topics covered: moving around safely; ergonomics and posture; equipment (VDUs, photocopiers, cutting equipment); electrical hazards; fire prevention; contractors and lone workers; hazardous substances; comfort of working environment; stress; smoking, alcohol and substance abuse; improving lifestyle; first aid.
Safety & Environment Department of the EEF, Sales Department, EEF, Broadway House, Tothill Street, London SW1H 9NQ, United Kingdom, 1998. 31p. Illus. Price: EEF members: GBP 1.20 per copy; non-members: GBP 1.50 per copy.
Turville K.L., Psihogios J.P., Ulmer T.R., Mirka G.A.
The effects of video display terminal height on the operator: A comparison of the 15° and 40° recommendations
Standard workplace design recommendation is to position the centre of video display terminals (VDTs) 15° below horizontal eye level. Recently a viewing angle of 40° below horizontal has been suggested for visually intensive tasks. The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of these two VDT positions on muscular activity, muscular fatigue, head/neck posture, visual acuity, operator performance, heart rate and operator subjective assessment. The experimental task consisted of reading text from a computer screen and answering reading comprehension questions using a mouse and a keyboard. The 40° VDT position showed significantly greater head tilt angles and higher muscle activity levels for six of the 10 neck, shoulder and back muscles sampled. No significant differences in visual acuity, operator performance or heart rate were detected as a result of monitor location. Seven of the 12 subjects preferred the 15° monitor position.
Applied Ergonomics, Aug. 1998, Vol.29, No.4, p.239-246. Illus. 35 ref.
Protection from solar radiation at the workplace
Sonnenschutz im Objektbereich [in German]
The new German ordinance which regulates the design of visual display workstations requires the prevention of glare. In many offices sunshades will have to be installed to comply with this requirement. A survey of available sunshades is given. Horizontal and vertical baffles inside windows, and awnings outside windows are discussed. Tips for the selection of sunshades are presented. Manufacturers of sunshades in Germany are listed and the types of products they offer are illustrated. Topics: CRT display terminals; Germany; glare; offices; screens; selection of equipment; solar radiation; visual comfort; windows.
BTH, Bodenbeläge, Tapeten, Heimtextilien, July 1998, No.7, p.91-106. Illus.
Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs) - Part 5: Workstation layout and postural requirements
Exigences ergonomiques pour travail de bureau avec terminaux à écrans de visualisation (TEV) - Partie 5: Aménagement du poste de travail et exigences relatives aux postures [in French]
Topics: anthropometry; CRT display terminals; equipment layout; ergonomics; ISO; office work; sitting posture; standard; standing posture; work posture; workplace design.
International Organization for Standardization, Case postale 56, 1211 Genève 20, Switzerland, 1 Oct. 1998. v, 25p. Illus. 2 ref.
Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs) - Part 13: User guidance
Exigences ergonomiques pour travail de bureau avec terminaux à écrans de visualisation (TEV) - Partie 13: Guidage de l'utilisateur [in French]
Topics: check lists; CRT display terminals; design of equipment; ergonomics; ISO; man-computer interfaces; office equipment; office work; standard.
International Organization for Standardization, Case postale 56, 1211 Genève 20, Switzerland, 15 July, 1998. v, 32p. Illus. 46 ref. Price: CHF 106.00.
Aptel M., Cail F., Claudon L., Morel O., Renouard M.L., Tranchet E.M.
Ergonomics of hand tools - Key issues and state of the art
Ergonomie des outils à main - Problématique et état de l'art [in French]
This report contains two literature analyses on the ergonomic design of industrial hand tools and visual display unit input devices. Two examples are given concerning: 1) the assessment of biomechanical stresses resulting from the use of hand tools and 2) the conditions and environment of hand tool use. Topics: age-linked differences; anthropometry; body mechanics; computer terminals; design of equipment; ergonomics; hand tools; literature survey; man-computer interfaces; musculoskeletal diseases; repetitive strain injury; sex-linked differences; stapling; work posture.
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, Feb. 1998. 148p. Illus. Bibl.ref.
Chi C.F., Lin F.T.
A comparison of seven visual fatigue assessment techniques in three data-acquisition VDT tasks
Methods of measuring visual fatigue (accommodation power, visual acuity, pupil diameter, critical fusion frequency (CFF), eye movement velocity, subjective rating of visual fatigue, and task performance) were compared for their sensitivity to visual load. Ten participants performed a monitoring task at two viewing distances, read articles under two levels of screen contrast, and tracked visual targets at two different speeds. The techniques were also compared by extending the task time from 20 to 60min with the same tasks to test for possible improvement in sensitivity. Results indicated that sensitivities of accommodation power, visual acuity, and CFF were greatly improved by a longer task period, but these techniques did not distinguish among tasks. Pupil diameter, eye movement velocity, and subjective rating of visual fatiguewere sensitive in differentiating tracking from reading and monitoring tasks. Eye movement velocity and subjective rating were sensitive to the changes in target velocity of the tracking task. Task performance helped to ensure that participants maintained the same performance level by devoting more resources to the high-load conditions. Topics: comfort assessment; CRT display terminals; data processing equipment; evaluation of technique; visual acuity; visual comfort; visual fatigue; visual flicker fusion; visual performance; visual tasks.
Human Factors, Dec. 1998, Vol.40, No.4, p.577-590. Illus. 15 ref.
Effects of display resolution on visual performance
The role of display resolution in visual information processing was investigated in two experiments. The first examined the effects of two CRT conditions (resolutions of 60 and 120dpi) and a paper control condition (255dpi) on proofreading speed and accuracy. Results showed that reading performance was significantly better in the paper condition than in the two CRT conditions. The second experiment examined the effects of three different CRT resolutions (62, 69, and 89dpi) on eye movement parameters in a visual search task. Search Reaction Times (RTs) and fixation durations were significantly increased in the low resolution condition as compared with the high resolution condition. There is evidence for stronger fatigue in low resolution conditions. Additionally, the extent of visual fatigue correlates both with search RTs and eye movement parameters. Observers' responsiveness to effects of display resolution in terms of visual fatigue differs markedly. Use of high resolution displays (90dpi and greater) is recommended to optimize visual performance, to make prolonged on screen viewing more comfortable, and to avoid visual fatigue. Topics: comfort assessment; CRT display terminals; data processing equipment; design of equipment; perceptual-motor performance; visual acuity; visual comfort; visual displays; visual fatigue; visual performance; visual tasks.
Human Factors, Dec. 1998, Vol.40, No.4, p.554-568. Illus. 28 ref.
Sharit J., Czaja S.J., Nair S.N., Hoag D.W., Leonard D.C., Dilsen E.K.
Subjective experiences of stress, workload, and bodily discomfort as a function of age and type of computer work
A sample of 394 subjects ranging in age from 20-75 years performed a computer task (data entry, information retrieval, and accounts balancing) across a 3-day period. Age differences in the subjective experience of stress, workload, and bodily discomfort were evaluated. The results indicated that age effects for these measures varied according to task. The older subjects perceived greater workload for the more mentally challenging problem-solving oriented accounts balancing task (which involved a graphical user interface) than the younger participants, even with increased exposure to the task. However, the older subjects generally experienced less stress than the younger subjects on an information retrieval task that involved a more socially interactive telephone component. A positive relationship between the frustration component of workload and the measure of stress was also found, suggesting an important link between the constructs of stress and workload. Overall, the outcomes of this study provide important insights into design interventions intended to accommodate older as well as younger persons in the workforce. Topics: age; age-linked differences; comfort assessment; CRT display terminals; mental stress; mental workload; office work; physical workload; questionnaire survey; stress evaluation; subjective assessment; work capacity; workload assessment.
Work and Stress, Apr.-June 1998, Vol.12, No.2, p.125-144. Illus. 24 ref.
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