New Research - 'Increase in Risk of Blood Clots for Workers who Spend Prolonged Time at Work Stations'
Monday, 2nd April 2007
New research published by The Medical Research Institute in New Zealand has found that workers who spend excessive amounts of time at their work station have a higher risk of developing potentially fatal blood clots.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the legs. The clots can travel to the heart lungs or brain causing chest pain, breathlessness or in extreme case death from a heart attack or stroke. It is a condition which affects around 100,000 people and kills up to 1,000 people in the UK alone every year. Researchers found that a third of people admitted to hospital with DVT were workers who spent a majority of their working day at a computer, often spending more than three consecutive hours at their work station.
DVT is not the only condition to be associated with the regular and prolonged use of display screen equipment. Other risks associated include;
- musculo-skeletal injuries;
- repetitive strain injuries or work-related upper-limb disorders;
- eye fatigue;
- frequent headaches.
There are ways in which these risks can be minimised and managed;
- planning daily work routines to ensure frequent rest breaks from the screen and the work station;
- re-arranging office layout/implementation of height adjustable furniture to ensure comfort of staff;
- ensuring that all relevant staff are trained to use work stations safely and are given instruction in stretching exercises to avoid musculo-skeletal tension and minimise the risk of DVT;
- providing relevant documentation e.g. risk assessments, policies/procedures etc.
The aforementioned study will be published in the New Zealand Medical Journal. Further details on their report can also be found on www.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6444565.stm
EDGE Services discuss how to minimise the risk of a range of key hazards, including the use of display screen equipment, and how to conduct general risk assessments in our two day ‘Health, Safety & General Risk Assessment for the Care Profession’ training event. Visit the course page for details.