When I'm at work: Using a computer - Trainer's guide
If possible, set up a computer workstation to look something like the picture below.
- Identify each of the computer parts for the learner.
- Discuss with the learner that sometimes the components look different, but that most workplace computers have each of these components.
- Talk with the learner about their experience working with computers.
Ask the learner if they can see all of these items?
Discuss the importance of following safe work practices when working with computers.
Before you start any work with computers you must ensure that you follow safe work practices. You must be comfortable when working at a computer and must always tell your supervisor if you feel you are in any pain or are feeling uncomfortable.
Explain the term ergonomic.
Not only for your comfort, but Australian law states that you have to be safe at work. Ergonomic requirements means your computer and workstation are set up in such a way that you are comfortable and safe when you are working at your computer.
Following is a list of areas around your workstation that you need to pay particular attention to.
Help the supported employee set up the following at their workstation.
- The height and layout of your workstation
This is vital for you to be able to do your work well. Your feet should be on the ground and your hands should be resting comfortably on the keyboard. Your hands should be at the same angle as your elbows.
Talk with the learner about each of these safety areas and why they are important.
- Chair height, seat and back adjustment
These should be checked and adjusted daily if someone else has been using your desk and chair. Demonstrate to the learner the importance of having the chair height, seat and back adjusted correctly. Talk with the learner about the importance of workplace safety when using the computer.
- Monitor (or screen) position
You should not be looking up or down at your monitor (or screen) – it should be directly in front of you at eye level or slightly lower.
- Keyboard and mouse position
These should be placed where it feels comfortable for you. The keyboard should be in front of you. The mouse should be on your right, if you use your right hand, or on your left if you use your left hand.
Discuss the importance of having clear space in front to use the keyboard and move the mouse.
Lighting should be strong and not have any glare.
Discuss why good lighting is important when using a computer.
- Checking your workstation
The following diagram illustrates the correct way to set up and sit at your workstation.
- Regular breaks
Try to get up for a few minutes every hour you are at the computer. You may like to walk around or do some exercises to relieve any muscle strain. Some examples of stretching exercises are set out below.
Describe and demonstrate each of the exercises to the learner.
Drop your head slowly first to the left, then to the right. Drop your chin to your chest, then raise it, letting your head drop back. Turn your head to the left, then to the right. Repeat two or three times.
With your elbows at your sides slowly roll your shoulders forward three or four times. Then roll them backwards three or four times.
Raise your arms straight out to the sides at shoulder level. Rotate your arms forward in small circles three or four times. Then rotate them backwards three or four times.
Clasp your hands behind your back, locking your elbows. Raise your arms high, then let them drop. Repeat three or four times.
Place your forearms and wrists flat on the desk. Keeping your wrists on the table, bend your hands and fingers back. Repeat three or four times.
Place your hands palm down and spread your fingers into a fan. Count to five, then relax. Repeat three or four times.
Encourage the learner to practise each of the exercises above.
Summarise this topic with the learner and sign the topic checklist in the learner's workbook.