Safety risks in a computer lab

Written by brittiany cahoon
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Safety risks in a computer lab
Safety precautions must be taken even in a computer lab. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Although sitting in a room full of computers may not seem like much of a health hazard, accidents can and do happen in computer labs. You can sustain personal injury or the computers can be damaged through careless and hazardous activity. A few simple reminders will help you and the computers in the lab to remain safe from harm.

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General Safety

Since computer labs tend to be crowded, cramped places, it is vital to keep walkways and doorways clear so people can move around easily. Coats should be hung in a coat closet or stowed underneath individual chairs. Bags and other personal items should be hung up as well, if a coat rack is provided. If not, the bags should be stowed underneath chairs.

Personal Safety with Computers

Sitting at computers for long periods of time can cause long-term health issues. It's important to maintain proper posture and to keep your wrists up off the keyboard to avoid back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Look away from the screen every couple of minutes since staring constantly at a computer screen can strain the eyes. If possible, get up and move around every hour or so to avoid strain on the body.

Protecting Computers

Computers and other equipment must be protected because a malfunctioning computer can become a health hazard for everyone. Use surge protectors to plug the computers in so that excess energy doesn't damage the computer. Never drink or eat near your computer to avoid getting food or liquids on the keyboard. Computers can be damaged in overheated conditions, so ensure that the lab is set at a cool temperature.

Maintaining Computer Functions

Computers should not be moved a lot, overheated or overloaded in any way. Always turn the computer off by using the shutdown option on the Windows start button and turn the computer on by pushing the main power button on the tower and the power button on the monitor. Don't move computers excessively, including laptops, especially when the computer is on and the hard drive is in the middle of a function.

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