Occupational Health and Safety is an important aspect of an Information Technology workplace. An IT workplace with good OHS practices will ensure the working environment is maintained to optimal health and safety standards. Benefits of maintaining these standards will directly help employees' health and safety, and it will also help to maintain, and improve where necessary, employees' morale, productivity, and employment retention rates (The National OHS Strategy 2002-2012). Given this, it becomes appropriate to schedule regular evaluations of each workplace against its relevant OHS criterion.
The evaluation of Occupational Health and Safety within room T6, operating as Head Office of the Information, Communication and Technology Department of Nuriootpa High School took place in April 2011. The purpose of the evaluation was to critically evaluate this workplace against the OHS criteria for an IT environment, so that hazards may be identified and solutions recommended. This report critically evaluates each OHS criterion for the above-mentioned office and identifies any associated hazards. Using guidelines from state and federal government bodies this report suggests solutions to the identified hazards, and provides a conclusion of the evaluation's findings.
The purpose of this critical evaluation is to assess the various OHS factors associated with the office. This assessment enables pre-existing and potential hazards to be identified, hence enabling a process to occur where solutions to these hazards can also be identified. A critical evaluation of this office is an opportunity to gain a complete overview of the current level of OHS, thereby helping the workplace to comply with the objective of the OHS Act, 1986 that workplaces will take an objective role in promoting the health and safety of employees at work by identifying and eliminating any existing and potential hazards.
An inspection by qualified personnel is required to check the current illuminance of the office. The school needs to ensure that the office complies with Australian Standard 1680, which recommends illuminance of 400 lux for moderately difficult tasks involving computers and low contrasts, and that illuminance of 600 lux is available for SSO ICT staff performing tasks involving minute detail and low contrast e.g. computer hardware maintenance.
The hazard of workstations and office equipment becoming hazards during times of high traffic volume within the office can be eliminated by defining the access points for the classrooms adjoining the office as the external doors of the building. Entry through these doors is via the master key, which all staff have a copy of. There is storage space within the classrooms for any items that teachers would otherwise store in this office, and the relocation of such items would eliminate the temptation to cross the office floor to access the adjoining classrooms after accessing items stored within this office.