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Obligations of the employer in the area of ergonomics

The Grand Ducal regulation of 4 November 1994 requires the employer to provide appropriate working tools for the tasks to be performed in order to guarantee the health and safety of his workers. The official text defines a whole list of criteria which must be satisfied by office furniture and electronic equipment. As a consultant to the employer, the ASTF gives advice on many aspects of ergonomics.

INDIVIDUAL ADVICE

The ASTF may perform a study of the workplace and give advice on ergonomic adaptations.
This study may be beneficial for every employee, but is particularly recommended in the case of persons suffering from back or neck pains, tendinitis etc…
In this connection, a good working position is essential and can alleviate the symptoms. A good position in relation to the screen must be assured, correct adjustment of the chair, proper layout of the working tools and a correct position in relation to light sources…
The position at the workplace must therefore be considered in all its aspects and the prevention of abnormal postures is vital to health and wellbeing at work.

GROUP ERGONOMIC TRAINING

The ASTF offers group ergonomic training which can be adapted to the needs of every business. On average it lasts for between 90 minutes and 2 hours and, in its habitual form, consists of three stages:

  • Theoretical training for a group of 20 or so persons during which the basic concepts of ergonomics and their practical application are explained. Notions of anatomy are considered to enable the desirability of adjustments to be properly understood.
  • Practical exercises of muscular relaxation which can be performed easily in the office are explained by a professional sports trainer.
  • Personal advice is provided at the workplace of each employee who so wishes. In an initial phase, employees adjust their own workplace because it is important for the ergonomic approach to be active. If they so wish, persons from the ASTF may then make sure that these adjustments are ideal and call attention to any points which need improvement.

AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS

Complaints about the temperature or dryness of the ambient air or the presence of draughts may be made by employees.
To assess possible malfunctions of the air conditioning system, objective measurements may be taken using a calibrated instrument.
These measurements may be occasional or in some cases performed at 5 minute intervals over a 24 hour period.
The main features measured are:

  • the air temperature;
  • relative humidity;
  • air speed (presence of a draught);
  • the rate of carbon dioxide (C02) which indicates good air renewal;
  • the presence of formaldehyde (an irritating and allergenic substance);
  • detection of volatile organic compounds (VOC).

Other measurements may be made in the event of specific exposure.

ANALYSIS OF THE LIGHTING

A good level of lighting is vital to reduce visual fatigue. The luminous intensity must be adequate without causing dazzle. Reflections must be avoided.
Analysis of the lighting can be the subject of a specific study during which a luxmeter may be used.

ADVICE ON PLANNING

Ergonomics must always be privileged at the design stage. It is easier to provide an ergonomic environment from the outset than to attempt to correct inadequacies after the event.The ASTF interior architect can assist you with this work.