Most jobs nowadays require people to sit whilst working. This is partly due to the rapid increase in I.T. and mechanisation within business and industry. Unsuitable seating can cause people to adopt awkward postures which can lead to discomfort, back pain and upper limb disorders. This may prove costly to employers in the form of staff absences, potential civil claims and lost production. Individuals also bear some of the costs in the form of suffering and lost income.
Office / factory seating and the law
Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, employers are required to assess risks including those that arise from seating at work. They must also have arrangements in place to protect employees’ health and safety in the workplace, which includes seating.
For example, employers will need to assess whether seating design is suitable and safe for the type of work being done. Employers will also need to consider any likely changes in the work conditions as this may require different seating design. The costs and benefits of different seating design may also need to be considered alongside the suitability of chairs being used.
Facts about back pain.
Below are some interesting facts from www.backcare.org.uk
- Almost half the population of the UK (49%) report low back pain lasting for 24 hours at some point in the year.
- It is the UK’s leading cause of disability, affecting 1.1. million people
- Over 1.4 million working days was lost as a result of back pain in 2007-2008 with each sufferer taking an average of 17 days off work
- Cost to the UK in lost production estimated at £6 billion
Irrespective of age and gender, back pain can have a devastating effect of people’s lives. Many of those affected by back pain face a future of long-term disability and pain, resulting in depression, loss of employment and social isolation.
Whether you use an office chair an industrial chair or a laboratory chair make sure it is right for you and more importantly make sure it is correctly adjusted.