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6 Measures for the design of VDU workstations

6.1 General requirements for VDU workstations

(1) Computer workstations are to be set up and operated in such a way that the safety and protection of the health of the employees is guaranteed. The principles of ergonomics are to be applied accordingly to the VDU workstations and the required work equipment as well as the VDUs required for information processing by the employees.

(2) The employer must ensure that the activities of the employees on screen devices are interrupted, in particular by other activities or regular recovery times.

(3) Sufficient space must be provided for employees to change their working postures and movements.

(4) The display devices are to be set up and operated in such a way that the surfaces are free from bothersome reflections and glare.

(5) The work tables or work surfaces must have an anechoic surface and must be set up in such a way that the surfaces are free from bothersome reflections and glare during work.

(6) The work areas are to be dimensioned according to the work task in such a way that all input means can be arranged variably on the work area and a flexible arrangement of the screen, the written material and the other work equipment is possible. The work surface in front of the keyboard must allow the heels of the hand to rest.

(7) At the request of the employees, the employer must provide a footrest and a manuscript holder if an ergonomically favorable working posture cannot be achieved in any other way.

(8) The lighting must correspond to the type of work task and be adapted to the eyesight of the employees; An appropriate contrast between the screen and the work environment must be ensured. The design of the computer workstation as well as the layout and arrangement of the lighting means that annoying glare, reflections or reflections on the screen and other work equipment are to be avoided.

(9) If several display devices or screens are operated at one workstation, these must be ergonomically arranged. The input devices must be clearly assignable to the respective screen device.

(10) The work equipment must not lead to an increased, unhealthy heat load at the workplace.

6.2 General requirements for screens and display devices

(1) The text and graphic representations on the screen must be sharp and clear as well as sufficiently large in accordance with the work task and the viewing distance. The character and line spacing must be appropriate. The character size and the line spacing must be individually adjustable on the screen.

(2) The image displayed on the screen must be free of flicker. The image must not have any distortion.

(3) The brightness of the screen display and the contrast of the text and graphic representations on the screen must be easily adjustable by the employees. They must be able to be individually adapted to the conditions of the working environment.

(4) The screen size and shape must be appropriate for the task at hand.

(5) The electromagnetic radiation emitted by the display devices must be kept so low that the safety and health of the employees are not endangered.

6.3 Requirements for display devices and work equipment for local use at workplaces

(1) Screens must be freely and easily rotatable and tiltable and have low-reflection surfaces. Screens with reflective surfaces may only be operated if this is necessary for compelling task-related reasons.

(2) Keyboards must have the following properties:

  1. they must be separate entities from the screen,
  2. they have to be tiltable,
  3. the surfaces must be low-reflection,
  4. The shape and the stroke of the buttons must be appropriate for the work tasks and enable ergonomic operation,
  5. the lettering on the buttons must stand out clearly from the surface and be easy to read in a normal working posture.

(3) Alternative input means (e.g. input via the screen, voice input, scanner) may only be used if this makes it easier to carry out the work tasks and does not result in additional burdens for the employees.

6.4 Requirements for portable display devices for portable use at workplaces

(1) The size, shape and weight of portable display devices must be appropriate for the task at hand.

(2) Portable display devices must

  1. have screens with anechoic surfaces and
  2. operated in such a way that the screen is free from annoying reflections and glare.

(3) Portable display devices without a separation between the screen and external input devices (especially devices without a keyboard) may only be operated at workplaces where the devices are only used for a short time or where the work tasks cannot be carried out with any other display devices.

(4) Portable screen devices with alternative input means are appropriate to the work tasks and are operated with the aim of optimally relieving the workforce.

(5) If portable display devices are used in a fixed location at workplaces, the requirements according to number 6.1 also apply.

6.5 Requirements for the user-friendliness of VDU workstations

(1) When operating the VDU workstations, the employer must ensure that the workstation is appropriately designed for the work tasks. In particular, he has to provide suitable software systems.

(2) It must be possible to adapt the display devices and the software to the respective work task in accordance with the knowledge and experience of the employees.

(3) The software system must provide the employees with information about the respective dialog processes.

(4) The display devices and the software must enable the employees to influence the dialogue processes. They must describe any errors that may have occurred during handling and allow them to be eliminated with a limited amount of work.

(5) A control of the work with regard to the qualitative or quantitative results may not be carried out without the knowledge of the employees.