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How high is too high for a reception desk?

Q: We have a reception desk that can seat up to four people but my staff members say the desk is too high. Is there a regulation that covers the correct measurements of a reception desk?

A: A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) has a duty to ensure the health and safety of their employees. This duty extends to workplace design.

There are no standardised specifications that apply to workstations in legislation,
regulations or codes of practice. However, the Code of Practice – Managing the Work Environment and Facilities provides guidance on the relevant considerations for workstation design. The Code is available at: www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/626/Managing_Work_Environment_and_Facilities2.pdf

Australian Standard 3590.2 Screen-based workstationsWorkstation furniture provides further detailed guidance.

Chapter W4 - Workplace Design, Modification and Purchasing in the Health & Safety Handbook is also a useful resource on workplace design.

You may also wish to engage an ergonomic assessor.

Please note: The answer is correct at the time of publishing. Be aware that laws may change over time. Refer to Office safety for current advice.

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