Hi I'm Michael Plis, and this page is dedicated to IT Safety. Everything Cyberkite staff have come across over 40+ years of their careers supporting business IT. Choose from the sections below: 

Office Social Distancing

IT Safety Tips

Why Safety in IT is important? 

This page discusses IT Safety related to mental health, electrical safety, fire safety, tripping hazards, hygiene, ergonomics, seasonal IT safety like summer or winter, etc. I think this is very important to cover for everyone's safety and long life. It's should not be viewed as the only advice though as you may want to consult your state or country government for local office safety advice. Also you may also need to seek professional advice for safety experts or view a comprehensive guide to Office safety here WorkCover site

Stressed Man

Mental Health & IT in the Workplace

Each year, 7,200 Australians are compensated for work-related mental health conditions, equating to around 6% of workers’ compensation claims, and approximately $543 million is paid in workers’ compensation for work-related mental health conditions.

 

Cyberkite supports WorkSafe Victoria's WorkWell Office Toolkit:

 

"The WorkWell Toolkit is a voluntary online navigation tool which links workplaces with relevant research, tools and information, to support them in building a mentally healthy workplace."

 

Why is mental health in the workplace relevant to IT Safety? 

  • Computer monitors can have a bad effect on the sleep patterns. Cyberkite can assist in setting up all your devices to reduce blue light on all your devices to reduce the chances of you and your staff developing sleep disorders. 
     

  • Workplace social media, email and instant messaging apps can be great for productivity but when not handled right, it can contribute to deterioration of the culture in the workplace. 
     

  • Complicated or double handling business processes can contribute to staff satisfaction levels, staff retention, stress and depression. 
     

  • As Google offices have shown, retention of good staff is done by creating a great atmosphere that contributes to overall wellbeing. Here's one example - Google Cambridge, UK Office
     

  • Cyberkite can help in many of these areas such as simplified business processes, less double handling, better atmosphere through smart devices and technology features. This in turn can contribute to less days off from your staff.

Visit Safe Work Australia

 

Book an IT Think Tank Session to improve Office wellbeing through Technology. 

 

Electrical safety in the workplace is very important. When Cyberkite visits your office onsite, they will (where appropriate) suggest safety improvements to your IT workspaces. This is to enhance your safety. 

Regularly review your office for: 

  • Power points

  • Cables

  • Power boards

  • Foot heaters 

  • IT equipment power cables

  • Other appliances

Visit Safe Work Australia

Book in Electrical Safety Testing

Electricity Plugs

IT Electrical Safety

 

All too commonly there is a trip-up in the office. What is the cause? Public Health Scotland says that among other things trailing cables is a common tripping hazard.  

Regularly review your office for:  

  • Walking paths around the office. 

  • Entrances & doors - no cables should be along them

  • Cables around the desks

  • Cables near office chairs

  • IT devices on the floor

Visit Safe Work Australia

Book in our IT Cable Cleanup (Melb Only)

Image by Trym Nilsen

IT Tripping Hazards

 
Image by Achudh Krishna

Winter IT Reminders

Winter has it's fun things and it's evil things. For example, snow is fun and snuggling up under the blanket. But in the office winter can spell a disaster if we aren't careful. 

At the start and during each winter review your office for:  

  • All foot heaters under desks - add a reminder at the exist door for all staff to remember to turn off any foot heaters. If possible improve HVAC negating the need for expensive foot heaters with high wattage. 

  • Electric blankets and cushions to warm the bums - check for electrical faults, zapping noises and wiring sticking out of the plugs and cables. 

  • Wall heaters - get them checked each winter. Especially the gas ones prior to use unless you want your whiskers grilled off. 

  • If you are bringing pets to the office, please watch them as they may not realise they go too close to heater and cook. 

Visit Safe Work Australia

Book in Electrical Safety Testing

 

Sumer is the silly season and full of fun. But leaving an IT device on the sun or in a very hot area like a car can spell an expensive disaster. And summer brings big thunder storms with lightning. To avoid these dangers here are some tips I've put together for summer time.  

According to a Zdnet article here are 10 tips on keeping technology safe during summer: 

  • Keep computers in a cool, dry area to prevent overheating. For example, don't keep IT devices in cars as they will melt internal parts. Don't leave technology in direct sunlight for more than 5minutes as they may overheat if it's a hot day. 

  • Don't have too many computers running off one power supply, via an extension cable. If the power socket is affected by a power surge, then all the machines could suffer damage

  • Install a surge protector between the power socket and the computer's power cable. Some brands offer guaranteed lightning protection

  • Small businesses with networks should get surge protectors to stop power spikes normally transmitted through network cables

  • At least once per year users should inspect power protection devices to make sure they are functioning properly

  • Ensure IT equipment has its own power circuit, so it isn't sharing the power with air conditioners, fans and/or other ancillary devices.

  • Turn off and disconnect the power cord during an electrical storm

  • Turn off power during a blackout. When power is restored after a blackout, the signal can initially be inconsistent, which can cause damage

  • High voltages can enter the computer through a phone line connected to the NBN modem. To protect your computer during electrical storms, unplug the telephone line from the modem jack or use a telephone line surge suppressor

  • Businesses with network servers should invest in some form of uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Contact Cyberkite for a quote on UPS's. 

Visit Safe Work Australia working in Heat

Book a FREE Planning Session to help address these tips along with our Melbourne team of licensed electricians.

Image by Gavin Spear

Summer IT Reminders

 
Image by James Pond

Hygiene around IT Devices & COVID-19

Hygiene of IT Devices and the surroundings around the devices in offices is very important, not only to the smooth operation of the devices but the health of the staff that use it. It has become as especially important thing during the Global COVID-19 Pandemic which started in 2020. 

Cleaning tools for tech cleaning: 

Always check the user manual of each device for safest methods of cleaning specific IT Devices or contact Cyberkite for advice. Common tools used are: 

  • Microfiber cloth

  • Alcohol solution

  • Water

  • Hand washing

  • Anti-Static Air blower

  • UV light cleaner

  • Other IT Tools

Regularly do the following hygiene matters in the office:  

  • Organise for the cleaners to safely remove dust from desktop computers, monitors, multi-function printers and so on. But please check with your IT Department or Cyberkite on safe way to dust IT devices. 

  • Organise for cleaners or assigned staff to regularly clean IT devices - but its very important that monitor display screen area, scanner windows & bed, and other optic related surfaces aren't clean with any chemicals as they can permanently damage those surfaces. Other plastic and metal areas and be cleaned with appropriate chemicals but please be careful to spray the chec,ical on the cloth - not the surface itself as excess water may seep into the device and over time damage it. 

  • Keyboard & mouse - The one thing you do not want to do is spray any chemicals directly onto your keyboard, this could cause damage. First, dampen your microfiber cloth with water, if you are having difficulty removing particles from between the keys, try using compressed air.

  • Mobile Devices - see video above on how to clean them. 

  • Touchscreen Displays -  

    • Wipe the screen with a dry, soft, lint-free cloth to removing dust and other particles.

    • If moisture is needed, spray water onto a clean, lint-free or microfiber cloth.

    • If still not clean, apply a small amount of non-alcohol-based glass cleaner onto a clean, microfiber cloth and wipe down the screen with very slight pressure. Too much pressure could damage your screen.

Visit Viewsonic Article

Book our IT Detailing Cleaning (Melb Only)

COVID-19 Support

 

The word ergonomics comes from the Greek word “ergon” which means work and “nomos” which means laws. It's essentially the “laws of work” or “science of work”. ... Ergonomics draws on many disciplines to optimize the interaction between the work environment and the worker. We think it's very important to get this right to avoid long term injuries. 

Every 6 months review the staff ergonomic setup:  

  • Check the height of monitors

  • Check the desk and chair height and positioning

  • Check eye level against the center of the screen

  • Review the setups at staff work from home desks at their homes by video

  • Review the work areas for badly positioned keyboard and mouse.

Visit Mayo Clinic Article on tips

Book our Ergonomics Review

Image by Uneebo Office Design

Ergonomics Principles

 
Image by Gervyn Louis

Environmental Impact

For centuries, tools and furniture were made to last but in the last few decades IT products have been increasingly shorter and shorter in life-span and this has created an enormous toxic e-waste and shortage of resources problem. So recycling of e-waste is becoming the norm across most countries. Here are some grim statistics from Cleanu Up Australia

  • Fewer than 1% of TVs and around 10% of PCs and laptops are recycled Australia wide

  • E-waste is responsible for 70% of the toxic chemicals such as lead, cadmium and mercury found in landfill - and 23,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions would be saved if half of the televisions discarded annually were recycled 

  • Electronic rubbish is growing at three times the rate of any other waste stream

  • Discarded devices are piling up around the world at a rate of 40 million per year

  • 98% of the components in your computer or television can be fully recycled

According to Sustainability Victoria here are some tips on reducing e-waste. 

  • Re-evaluate whether you really need a new electronic item or device - Book a free Planning Session with Cyberkite to assess what you need and what is aged and needs replacement or repair. 
     

  • Consider the second-hand market - The idea of regularly upgrading devices has become all too common in our society. But it’s worth checking the second-hand market or purchasing an item that is pre-loved or refurbished before buying new. Contact Cyberkite to source second hand or refurbished products. 
     

  • Extend the life of your electronics - Try to get the most of your products. Keep them clean, avoid overcharging batteries and use protective covers on tablets and phones. Ensuring new items are used more than once is also a great way to reduce e-waste. Book an IT Helpdesk session with Cyberkite (Remotely or Onsite) to perform regular maintenance & repairs. 
     

  • Donate or sell working electronics - One of the best ways to stop our unwanted IT items from entering the waste stream is to give or sell them to others who will find a use for them. Not only does this extend their life, it could earn you a bit of extra money in the process or you could be contributing to bringing someone out of poverty. Visit our E-waste Policy page for our donation program for IT products. 
     

  • Consider repairing the IT item (if it is broken) - book an IT Helpdesk session to repair an item or contact us for a quote - in many circumstances the device can be repaired. Be sure to check with the product's manufacturer before completing any repairs or part replacements, as this may void the warranty.

Tips on Minimising E-Waste

 

Clean Up Australia E-Waste Article

View Cyberkite E-Waste Policy

 

About our Blog Authors: 

Michael Plis

IT Intern

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