Office ergonomics


Q. Our Company has 100 people working at computers do we need to have a workstation assessment carried out on every employee?

A. No this is not necessary but it is one option. What we recommend is that we train all your staff on how to set up their workstations using the ACC habitatwork programme, that way your staff take some ownership of their own set up and requirements. Training only takes 45 minutes per session. Another option is to train a group of assessors within your business, this takes 2 hours.

Q. We have some staff reporting discomfort when working at their computers. Should we have them assessed by a professional such as you?

A. Yes we would recommend that we assess people reporting discomfort so that the possible underlying cause of the discomfort can be identified and addressed. Not all discomfort is work related but making changes in the workplace can often help.

Q. Should I have an early reporting system for discomfort and if yes what would that involve?

A. All staff working at computers on a regular basis should be made aware of early reporting of discomfort. You can use a standard incident reporting system or down load a report form from the ACC habitatwork website.

Q. One of our staff has made an ACC claim for a work related injury from working at a computer, can you assess this person and provide a detailed report that we can send to ACC?

A. Yes we provide that service. We have several senior Occupational health nurses that can provide a detailed report and advice to the employer.

Health Monitoring


Q. We have a factory where our manufacturing staff are potentially exposed to noise, dust, fumes and solvents. What sort of monitoring should we be doing?

A. Ideally in the first instance the noise levels and the atmospheric conditions i.e. dust, fumes, vapours are measured by an Occupational Hygienist. That way you can assess the possible level of risk to the employee and what the appropriate level of protection is needed. Elimination of a hazard is the first approach but is not off course always possible. We would recommend at minimum of the following: hearing and lung function tests, chemical worker health questionnaire, which would include a solvent worker questionnaire, skin and vision checks.

Q. How long would you need to spend with each employee and can you come to our workplace?

A. Each health assessment would take approximately 30 minutes. Yes we do come to the workplace and would send you out all the forms and consents prior to our nurse visiting.

Q. Do you provide written reports with the results of testing?

A. Yes you will receive a summary report of all the monitoring results and if there are any specific concerns these will be detailed in the report. For example if you have a person with suspected Noise Induced Hearing Loss you are required to keep a register of these people if their hearing loss is Significant. [refer to the DOL Code of Practice for Management of Noise in the workplace.

Q. How often should we do health checks on our staff?

A. Generally these would be annual. Once the initial health checks are done we are then able to carry out comparisons from one year to the next, which provides valuable information on whether or not your workplace controls are working.

Wellness Programmes


Q. Do you provide workplace wellness programmes?

A. Yes we do. These can be provided in conjunction with any other monitoring programme or as a stand-alone programme. Often the office staff miss out at manufacturing sites so these staff can be included in the portion of the health-monitoring programme at your workplace.

Q. What tests can you do as part of your wellness programme?

A. We can do finger prick blood tests for cholesterol and blood sugar. There are two options, [1] total cholesterol and blood sugar or [2] a breakdown of the good and bad cholesterol and blood sugar. The 2nd option is more expensive but does give a more accurate cholesterol measurement in terms of overall risk.

In addition to the blood test we measure blood pressure, Body Mass Index and look at risk factors for heart disease i.e. smoking, exercise, diabetes, family history and stress.