6 Steps to Reduce Injury and Improve Comfort at Your Desk
Currently RGA is under contract with The County of San Bernardino Risk Management and Safety Departments to provide health and safety consulting services. Recently the County has requested RGA to conduct office workstation ergonomic evaluations for various employees. A smart move considering recent Bureau of Labor statistics indicate Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) accounted for 28% of all workplace injuries and illnesses requiring time away from work in 2009.
MSDs affect all industries. Repetitive motions, awkward postures, back and neck strain and wrist pain are the most common complaints that affect a worker’s productivity.
Workstation evaluations focus on several items these include: working postures (head, neck and shoulders), seating (position and height), keyboard/input devices, computer monitor (distance and position), work area (desk, work surfaces), accessories (wrist palm rest, telephones, and document holders) and desk lighting
There are six small steps you can take to reduce risk of injury and improve comfort at your desk.
- Your chair should have lumbar support, padded armrests and an adjustable backrest, arms and seat pan. A five-point chair base is recommended for stability.
- Use document holders at the same height and distance from the user as the computer screen when performing data entry tasks.
- Position your keyboard to allow a straight/parallel hand-forearm posture.
- Ensure desktops provide a 90-degree angle between the elbow and work surface and allow enough room for posture adjustments while sitting.
- Position your computer screen to avoid glare and bright light in the screen’s peripheral field. Appropriate lighting will make the characters on the screen brighter than the background.
- Keep floor surfaces clear and in good condition.
A safety consultant can provide additional recommendations that result in reduced injury, disability, and employee absence. Worksite analysis, hazard prevention, medical management and training are important components of an OSHA compliant ergonomic program. Safety consultants, like RGA Environmental, evaluate, design and implement comprehensive and effective safety programs.
RGA’s industrial hygienists and safety professionals can improve employee health and reduce employer risk through minor changes to computer workstations as well as manufacturing and shipping areas. RGA also offers online Ergonomic training focused on injury and illness awareness both in the field and in the office.