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Tulane University Office of Env Health & Safety (OEHS) Computer/Office Ergonomics For information contact Mitzi Hithe, OEHS, (504) 988-2866.

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Presentation on theme: "Tulane University Office of Env Health & Safety (OEHS) Computer/Office Ergonomics For information contact Mitzi Hithe, OEHS, (504) 988-2866."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tulane University Office of Env Health & Safety (OEHS) Computer/Office Ergonomics For information contact Mitzi Hithe, OEHS, (504) 988-2866

2 What is ergonomics? DEFINITIONS Latin: Ergo (work) + nomic (the study of) = the study of work Webster’s Dictionary: The applied science of equipment design in order to reduce operator fatigue and discomfort. Layman’s: Fitting the job to the person.

3 Computer/Office Workstation Ergonomics Ergonomic principles applied to computer/office workstation design will help protect your health and safety, afford comfort while performing your daily tasks, reduce stress and fatigue, and promote greater efficiency. Before we talk about the workstation layout, let’s look at some basic work practice rules...

4 Work Practice Rules  Use good sitting posture to maintain spinal curvature and aid circulation.  To reduce eye fatigue and dryness, avoid viewing the monitor for long periods. Periodically rest your eyes by focusing on an object at least 20 feet away, or look away from the screen and blink several times at regular intervals.  Stretch your arms and legs at regular intervals.  Take “task breaks” where you perform non-computer tasks such as filing, phone work, copying, etc., to rest the eyes and stretch your body.  Visit our website at and visit OSHA at for more information.

5 Computer/Office Workstation Ergonomics All components of a computer workstation including the chair, monitor, keyboard and mouse, lighting, telephone, etc., must be looked at from an ergonomic perspective so that adjustments may be made to fit the task to the worker. Chair 1.The chair must be fully adjustable from a seated position. The lumbar or lower back should be properly supported—the support should fit the curve of the lower back. The chair should also have adjustable armrest support. 2.Footrest are recommended and may be necessary for some employees. 3.Employees should always be instructed on the chair’s operating controls. F ully adjustable task chair Pictures extracted from OSHA:

6 Computer/Office Workstation Ergonomics Monitor 1.The monitor should be raised so that the top of the viewing screen is at or below eye level, and approximately 18 to 40 inches from worker’s face, with a 15 to 20 degree tilt back, unless the angle causes additional glare. 2.An anti-glare filter over the viewing screen should aid in reducing serious glare problems caused by direct or indirect light sources. 3.A document holder should be placed at the same distance and height as the monitor. Pictures extracted from OSHA:

7 Computer/Office Workstation Ergonomics Keyboard and Mouse 1.The keyboard should be placed in front of, and aligned with the monitor. 2.During use, the upper arm should be in a relaxed vertical position from which the lower arm extends toward the keyboard creating almost a right angle, or “L” shape. 3.The keyboard should be approximately at elbow height, and never higher than 2 ½ inches above the work surface. 4.An ergonomic mouse should be placed to the right or the left of the keyboard and at the same height. Pictures extracted from OSHA:

8 Computer/Office Workstation Ergonomics Lighting 1.If computer work is the employee’s primary task, consider lowering the general room lighting level and use a properly placed task lamp. 2.Position the work area so that light sources are directly above rather than behind or facing the monitor. If necessary, use shades or blinds to reduce intensity of direct sunlight Picture provided by Indiana University

9 Computer/Office Workstation Ergonomics Telephone 1.As a rule, to minimize neck strain, employees whose jobs require heavy phone usage should be supplied and encouraged to use headsets. 2.All other employees whose jobs require phone use should be issued shoulder rests. 3.Note that to ensure comfort and fit, the headset or shoulder rest should be selected by the employee who will be using it. Employees should be instructed on the proper operation and adjustment of headsets and shoulder rests. How frequently do you use the phone? What’s the average length of your calls? Picture from Hello Direct a telecommunications solutions company

10 Computer/Office Workstation Ergonomics Calculator: 1.Employees who use a calculator frequently should lower the calculator to the same level as the keyboard. 2.Use a positive or negative slop wrist rest pad. It is recommended that the employee try different wrist pads to determine which is more suitable for his/her needs. The pad will soften the impact from finger strokes. Picture extracted from the AliMed Medical Supply & Ergonomic Projucts Co.

11 Computer/Office Workstation Ergonomics Accessories that may enhance your work environment.  Foot rest pads, keyboard and mouse rest pads, phone shoulder/neck pads, etc.  Anti-glare or security/anti-glare filters for monitors.  Document holders to the left or right of monitor and at the same height.  Electric staplers, collators, etc., depending on the task and frequency of the task.  Ergonomically designed hand tools, such as pens, pencils, letter openers, etc.  Height adjustable desk/tables and chairs are particularly helpful at multi-user workstations. Contact OEHS at (504) 588-5486 for more information.

12 Repetition – Doing the same motions over and over again places stress on the muscles and tendons. Severity of risk depends on how often the action is repeated, the speed of the movement, the number of muscles involved and the required force. Forceful Exertions – Force is the amount of physical effort required to perform a task (such as heavy lifting) or to maintain control of equipment or tools. The amount of force depends on the type of grip, the weight of an object, body posture, the type of activity and the duration of the task. Pictures extracted from Express Office Products web Example: An assistant is assigned the task to copy and staple materials for a safety conference. Which of the following staplers should be used to fit the job to the person? #1#2

13 Awkward Postures – Posture is the position your body is in and affects muscle groups that are involved in physical activity. Awkward postures include repeated or prolonged reaching, twisting, bending, kneeling, squatting, working overhead with your hands or arms, or holding fixed positions. Contact Stress – Pressing the body against a hard or sharp edge can result in placing too mush pressure on nerves, tendons and blood vessels. For example, using the palm of your hand as a hammer can increase your risk of suffering an MSD. Vibration – Operating vibrating tools such as sanders, grinders, clippers, routers, drills and other saws can lead to nerve damage.


15 Where to go for ergonomic information? Tulane University’s Office of Env Health & Safety (OEHS) (504) 988-5486 EHS Policies & Procedures Safety Guide (new employee orientation) Safety Wave (OEHS Newsletter) OEHS/Ergonomics Tulane University’s WFMO Staff Handbook

16 OEHS Ergonomics Services Provided Tulane University’s Office of Env Health & Safety (OEHS) provides ergonomics services as follows: 1.OEHS provides campus-wide educational training on various safety topics such as office/computer ergonomic safety. We also offer individual or group ergonomic evaluations of work environments on an “as needed” or requested basis. An “as needed basis” is when a First Report of Injury (FROI) is received that involves a possible work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSD) claim, or if our department judges it to be necessary. 2.If a potential ergonomic hazard is found to exist in the employee’s work environment, the department will be notified. 3.OEHS will submit a report to the department with attachments such as recommendations, product information, and local area vendor contact lists to assist the department in making the needed corrections.

17 Tulane University Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Mitzi Hithe - (504) 988-2866 If unable to proceed to quiz, type the link below into your browser Proceed to Quiz

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