Protecting workers’ health during remote working

According to Irish physiotherapists and chiropractors, there has been a rise in number of reported back and neck problems during Covid-19, with the majority of cases linked to working from home.

RTE news recent report on this finding suggests the importance in having good homeworking setups. Paul Bradley, the Clinical Director of Chiropractix, says the majority of patients are using kitchen tables for working from home, with some cases using their bed as a work setup. Mr Bradley describes this working position to be most worrying as the head would be flexed forward leading to increased neck pain. However, the most common issues presented by his patients are those of back pains due to bad posture at the workstation. These are often exacerbated due to poor monitor height and inadequate seating adjustments to suit the user.

Additionally, new analysis has been published by The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). This sets out recommendations for safe and productive hybrid and teleworking (remote working) model. The technical brief, which can be found here, emphasises how a poor physical environment and workplace design can impact workers’ health. Such adverse health impacts include Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD), eye strain, injuries and mental health problems.

To meet the changing needs of remote working, action must be put in place by employers to implement the necessary control measures to prevent adverse health impacts on their employees.

As stated under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and the Safety Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007, employers must take appropriate measures to ensure a safe work environment for their employees. The employer has a duty to carry out a Display Screen Equipment (DSE) assessment of the remote working activities of their employees. This is to ensure that any sources of risk are identified in the working environment and managed acceptably. This includes the physical work space, workstation equipment and mental health risks such as isolation, job demands and extensive work hours. This is a key requirement to protect and promote the health and well-being of employees.

Occupli offer a fully rounded Ergonomic service to our Clients by our specialist ergonomic and safety consultants. From Online Display Screen Equipment Awareness training, classroom-based Ergonomics courses and Ergonomic Assessment consultancy, Occupli have a solution for individuals and companies of every size.

Have a question? Chat to us instantly by clicking the chat box in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. Alternatively, you can click here to email