Occupational Health for Office Workers

If you are working at the office full time, you may be exposed to certain health risks. Here you can find some tips to ensure occupational health in the office environment.

Working with Computers

Employees who are frequently required to use computers for a prolonged period may suffer from health problems like upper limb pains, eyestrain and bodily fatigue. You should:

  • Make sure you work in a computer workstation of proper design and maintain a good posture.
  • Maintain viewing distance between your eyes and the screen be around 350mm to 600mm.
  • Make sure the screen gives a clear, sharp and steady image, displaying characters of adequate size and spacing.
  • Use a headset if you have to operate on the phone and the computer at the same time.
  • Maintain lighting levels within 300 to 500 lux.
  • Use aids like a document holder, foot rest or wrist rest if necessary.

You can obtain more guidance from the links below.

A Health Guide on Working with Display Screen Equipment (pdf file)A Guide to Work with Computers (pdf file)

Other Precautions Employers Should Take

Employers should conduct health risk assessments and formulate control measures to guard their employees against potential health risks in the office. These are the areas they should pay attention to:

  • housekeeping, which helps prevent accidents in the workplace and aids the efficient operation of the office.
  • lighting, which reduces employees’ visual strain and discomfort thus improving their performance.
  • photocopying, which may generate noise, heat and air impurities.
  • ventilation, which helps maintain a thermally comfortable work environment and remove or dilute airborne contaminants.
  • office workstation design, which facilitates the use of a good working posture and helps prevent pains at the neck, the back, the shoulders and the arms, etc.
  • use of chemicals, such as those in fragrances, correction fluid, printing ink and instant glue, may contain substances that are hazardous to health.
  • manual handling, which may cause injuries such as sprains, strains and back pain if not addressed properly.

You can read the detailed guidelines from the following links. 

Introduction and housekeeping (pdf file)Lighting in offices (pdf file)Photocopying (pdf file)Ventilation (pdf file)Office workstation design (pdf file)Use of chemicals (pdf file)Manual handling (pdf file)
Last review date: August 2017