Ergonomics is the science that deals with the relationships between people and their work, the work equipment and the working environment. In addition to analysing working conditions, it is concerned with designing workplaces in a way that promotes health. The negative effects of predominantly sedentary work at office workplaces on employees' health and the increasing number of employees who spend more and more time at these workplaces make ergonomic design of these workplaces more and more important.
The company medical service advises on the ergonomic planning and design of VDU workstations, on the selection of suitable office chairs (including demonstration of the office chairs of the current framework agreement of the state administration office - so-called "test sitting"). Furthermore, he carries out the eye and vision examinations to be offered within the framework of the occupational health screening and gives his opinion on the necessity of special visual aids for VDU workplaces (VDU glasses). Appointments can be made by telephone or by e-mail via the secretariat of the company medical service.
The Ordinance on Preventive Occupational Medicine (ArbMedVV) obliges employers to regularly offer preventive occupational medicine to employees at VDU workplaces. The offer is made at the beginning of the job and then every three years. Participation in the preventive medical check-up is voluntary for employees. The preventive medical check-up on offer includes the offer of an appropriate examination of the eyes and eyesight as well as advice on the results of the examination and on ergonomics at VDU workplaces. In the case of current issues, for example vision problems at the VDU workplace, the preventive check-up can also be carried out ahead of time. Please register for VDU screening by e-mail or by telephone at the office of the company medical service.
A special visual aid at the VDU workplace, also called VDU glasses, is always required when normal visual aids (for example, distance glasses, everyday sliding vision glasses or reading glasses) are no longer sufficient for VDU work at the workplace to ensure optimal vision at the VDU. In addition to the setup of the workplace and the work task, the accommodation capacity of the eyes plays a role. This refers to the ability of the eyes to adapt to different viewing distances and to see close objects sharply through sufficient curvature of the lens. The accommodation ability of the eyes continuously decreases in the course of life, the lens of the eye loses its elasticity and can no longer curve sufficiently. From the age of about 40 to 45 years, so-called old-age glasses have to be worn, the correction value of which has to be continuously increased until about the age of 60 because of the further decrease in the ability to accommodate. If sharp vision at the typical screen distance is no longer possible with normal vision aids that have been professionally fitted and whose correction values are (still) up-to-date, a special vision aid is required for screen activity.
The need for a special visual aid for VDU work is determined as part of the occupational health screening (VDU workstation). Registration for the preventive check-up is done via the secretariat of the company medical service (by telephone or e-mail).
Home office is a form of mobile working. It enables employees to work temporarily for the employer in their private sphere after prior agreement with the employer work for the employer. This is made possible by mobile devices such as notebooks, tablets and smartphones. Even if the employer is not obliged to provide furniture, lighting, other work equipment and communication technology for mobile work, the activity in the home office is nevertheless subject to the regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. As part of a risk assessment, work equipment should be checked for suitability and functionality for the home office and the workplace should be ergonomically set up.
In principle, the same ergonomic design principles apply to the home office as to office and VDU workplaces in the company. The use of a separate keyboard and mouse improves ergonomic working with the notebook. Ideally, a separate monitor should also be available. A good workplace situation can be created in the home office with a suitable desk, an office chair and an ergonomic arrangement of work equipment on the tabletop. The provisions of the Working Hours Act must also be observed, for example with regard to maximum working hours and rest periods.
The company medical service will advise you on questions of ergonomic workplace design for the home office.