International Cat Day 2022 – Display Screen Equipment and Cats

Display Screen Equipment By Matthew Coombes

When using display screen equipment (DSE), you may think that you’ve got it all sussed out, that every risk has been addressed and your ergonomic keyboard sit-standing desk, treadmill floor and hourly 10-minute yoga routines have conquered the risks associated with using computers and other DSE.

You are wrong. Enter…the cat.

Ecopsychology tells us that looking at nature for as little as 15 minutes can reduce our experience of stress, in fact when it comes to wellbeing, nature is essential.

Although domesticated, cats are inherently natural, so it stands to reason that they will be beneficial to your mental health while working.
Additionally, there are few things better than taking a step away from the computer after dealing with complex or difficult work and just giving the cat a little squimsh.

But what are the DSE risks and hazards associated with cats?

1

Cats aren’t transparent

The first risk is the frustration that no, cats are not transparent, they’ve not even bothered to make themselves opaque. Maybe one day, science will find a way for you to have a screen uninterrupted by cats.

But until then, you can deal with the frustration of trying to work with a cat walking in front of your keyboard.


2

Cats have mass


Because cats have decided not to be weightless and mass-less, they’re able to displace objects by lying down on them. Typically, this will either be their nemesis, the mouse, meaning that you’re unable to click on anything, or they will just walk all over the keybo444444444444rfrredddddd.


3

Cats often do impressions of loaves of bread


When a cat decides to do an impression of a loaf of bread, it can often become a trip-hazard. Not only will the cat choose the most inconvenient place possible, such as the top of the stairs, the walk ways, and fire escape routes, they will also know when you’re in a hurry or carrying something and endeavour to increase their risk factor by actively weaving in and out of your legs.


4

They’re not very good fire safety advisors


Cats are often lax when it comes to fire safety. They’ve clearly not read the legislation; they’re not interested and it shows. If you have cats, check that they’re not negligently overloading extension leads or biting and scratching your wires.


5

I snooze you lose


Cats frequently disregard the purpose of a display screen equipment assessment including the chair/seating equipment being suitable for the user.

They are obsessed with gradually destabilising your spine, because the greater the curvature of your spine through poor posture, the easier it is to climb on your back and let you carry them around.


Controlling the risks of cat

The one and only way to ensure that you’re controlling the risks of cats is to give in and let them win.
Just don’t let them chew your wires!


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