Fidgety employees could be costing UK employers on average £3,279 per person per year through lost productivity and sickness absence. Failing to provide comfortable, suitable workspaces for employees can lead to ailments such as headaches, tense shoulders, neck ache, eye problems as well as sore wrists and arms.
Left unattended, these problems could lead to mass workplace absence, not something any business owner wants to have to deal with. Only 45% of respondents from a recent survey had conducted a workstation risk assessment which is designed to identify and resolve issues which consequently lead to health problems. Concerned that these figures could rise, The HR Dept is reminding all employers to carry out an assessment appropriate to their needs. A large proportion of UK workers spend the majority of their working day in front of a computer. All computer users (display screen users) must complete a self-assessment (‘Display Screen Equipment’) questionnaire. A ‘user’ is described as someone who uses a computer for ‘continuous spells of an hour or more at a time’. The HR Dept is advising employers to encourage their staff to take 10 minutes every hour away from their screen to fulfil other duties at work.
Simple steps can be taken to combat this increasing issue. The HR Dept Director comments, “Employers who take a proactive approach to this and provide support to their employees through workstation assessments are more likely to have a more motivated, efficient and productive workforce. Rather than see health and safety as another cost to their bottom line, employers will likely see their sickness absence decrease where risks are identified and rectified.”
Workstation risk assessments are part of health and safety law which is why The HR Dept’s Health and Safety Service can take care of these kinds of assessments and everything in between.