Blogging safely: Five health and safety tips for using computers

Whether you blog for work or pleasure, or both, you might spend hours on end at your computer. This means it’s really important that you are well versed in some basic safety information. After all, while racking up the words on screen may not seem like a particularly risky activity, there are certain dangers to avoid. For example, computer work is associated with neck, shoulder, back and arm pain, as well as fatigue and eyestrain.

Here are five top tips to help you stay safe while blogging.

1) A good setup

Firstly, it’€™s really important to set your workstation up properly. Ideally, your forearms should be approximately horizontal and your eyes should be at the same height as the top of the screen. Also, make sure there’€™s enough space under your desk for your legs to move and avoid using seating that places excessive pressure on the backs of your legs and knees.

In addition, it’s a good idea to have space in front of your keyboard where you can rest your hands and wrists when you’re not writing. Your mouse should be positioned within easy reach so you can use it with a straight wrist and, while controlling your mouse, support your forearm on your desk. Check out our First Aid tips.

2) Take regular breaks

If you a€™re writing against the clock and are under pressure to meet deadlines, it can be tough to take breaks. However, it’€™s recommended that you make room for frequent short breaks to rest your eyes. Ideally, you should get away from your screen for around five to ten minutes every hour. Take the opportunity to practice gratitude - click here.

3) Extra precautions for portable devices

Laptops and tablets can be really convenient. However, they come with certain added risks. For example, larger laptops can be cumbersome and heavy to carry around. If you do have to shift this equipment, make sure you follow manual handling guidance.

Protect your devices with tough cases which will prevent damage from spillages or any knocks or drops. Buy personalised iPhone cases. Have a look at the full range of cases for iPhone 8, iPhone 8 plus and the brand new iPhone X.

Also, where possible, use a suitable workstation complete with desk rather than your knee or a coffee table.

4) Beware electrocutions

Like all electrical equipment, computers are associated with a risk of electrocution. To minimise the chances that you’€™ll suffer a shock, carry out regular visual checks of your equipment. You will need to take action to repair or replace it if you see evidence of damage to plugs or connectors, or if the cabling is not properly secure. Burn marks or stains are also cause for action.

Any repairs should be carried out by people with the necessary skills, experience and knowledge. If you’€™re in any doubt, get a professional to check your computer over.

5) Keep your workstation clean

Even if your computer looks spic and span, bear in mind it is probably harbouring plenty of bacteria. If you don’€™t make an effort to keep it clean, you run the risk of contracting potentially nasty infections.

As a general rule, try not to eat over your computer as you’€™re bound to create crumbs. Also, from time to time you may benefit from disconnecting your keyboard and turning it upside down over a bin so that any unwanted additions fall out. You can also spray antibacterial cleaning products onto a cloth and then wipe this over your keyboard. Make sure you don’€™t get your keys too wet though. Read about creating space for your child to do their homework. Read more homework tips.

Given the risks to health associated with computers and other types of display screen equipment, it’€™s important to take the issue of safety seriously. If you think your knowledge on the topic could be improved, it’s worth investigating the Display Screen Equipment/Computer Safety courses offered by RD Health & Safety.

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