Conducting an Office Ergonomics Audit

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1 Conducting an Office Ergonomics Audit Presented By: Kavita Chauhan, R.Kin, B.Sc. Kin & Hlth., Ergonomic Specialist ABOUT Inc. International Ergonomics Consulting & Training organization providing Professional Ergonomic & Injury Management Services Since 1994 WHY Inc. 1

2 OBJECTIVES 1. Ergonomic Hazard Review in an Office 2. Musculoskeletal Disorders 3. Office Ergonomic Hazards 4. Office Ergonomics Review 5. Anthropometrics 6. Ergonomic Injury Prevention 7. Finding Solutions activities in groups WHAT IS ERGONOMICS? Definition of ergonomics What does ergonomics mean to you ERGONOMICS? 2

3 BENEFITS OF ERGONOMICS Increase health & safety of workers Decrease injuries Optimize human capabilities Increase morale Save money Increase productivity & quality Decrease errors Decrease turnover and absenteeism Stimulate innovation Improve Union/Management relations Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDERS MSDs are injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system. They may be caused or aggravated by various hazards in the workplace. Include injuries mainly to: Muscles, tendons and tendon sheaths Nerves Bursa Joints/ spinal discs MSDs are not the direct result of a fall, struck by or against, caught in or on, vehicle collision, violence, etc. Occupational Health & Safety Council of Ontario; MSD Prevention Series 3

4 COMMON TYPES OF MSDs Cumulative stresses on the body over time lead to wear and tear of musculoskeletal system *** Aging workers are more prone to MSDs CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME Median Nerve in Carpal Tunnel becomes compressed 4

5 BACK INJURIES Overexertion is main cause Lifting causes % of injuries Awkward posture involved 12-19% of the time Poor sitting posture increases disc pressure POSTURE AND DISC PRESSURE 5

6 MSD WORKPLACE HAZARDS MSD HAZARDS What are the main MSD Hazards in an Office Space? 1. Awkward postures 2. Static work 3. Repetition 4. Forceful exertions What other factors may need to be considered? COMPUTER SET UP 6

7 PRINCIPLE #1: Working Height A mismatch between working heights and employees may lead to: poor posture discomfort inefficient work PRINCIPLE #2: The Monitor Place the top of the monitor at horizontal eye level Tilt monitor slightly backward Place monitor directly in front of the body, approximately one arm s length away Appropriate height for bifocal users LAPTOPS What are the ergonomic issues when using a laptop? 1. Working heights 2. Keyboard size 3. Mouse location 7

8 PRINCIPLE #3: Glare Position monitor at a right angle to windows Tilt monitor to reduce reflecting overhead light Focus task lights directly on documents Use blinds or drapes PRINCIPLE #4: Keyboard Align the B & N with the belly button and nose Home row on your keyboard should be at elbow height Your upper arms should be vertical, forearm horizontal Wrists should be straight, shoulders relaxed No contact stress on arms PRINCIPLE #4: Keyboard 8

9 PRINCIPLE #5: Mouse Your mouse should be positioned as close to your midline as possible Place your mouse beside your keyboard at the same height Your elbow angle should be between 75 and 130 degrees Your wrists should be as close to straight as possible Your wrists should not be bent to either side; align your hand with your forearm Your mouse should fit your hand PRINCIPLE #6: Chair Individuals are responsible for correctly adjusting their chair to suit their needs Even if the design of the chair is ideal, the user has to understand why it is necessary to use their chair in the correct manner PRINCIPLE #7: Reaching To reduce reaching, consider the following: Rearrange workstation Reduce dimensions of workstation Place mouse on keyboard tray beside keyboard Inclines / Writing Surfaces Document holders 9

10 PRINCIPLE #8: Tools & Equipment Avoid bending the neck and holding the receiver while talking on the telephone. This can lead to neck stiffness and headaches Copy holders can raise & position documents to improve neck postures Use wider grips when writing External keyboards and mouse PRINCIPLE #9: Movement! Take breaks away from the computer every two hours. Follow the rule. Stand up for at least five minutes every hour. Alternate computer tasks with non-computer tasks, such as phone calls, filing and meetings. Change your posture frequently. Adjust you chair regularly. Stretch your hands, shoulders, forearms neck and back every few hours or whenever fatigue or discomfort is felt. Work smartly at home and at work. ANTHROPOMETRICS 10

11 ANTHROPOMETRICS INJURY PREVENTION STRATEGIES OFFICE ERGONOMICS One of the prime sources of workplace injuries, particularly MSIs, is ergonomics-related hazards. MSIs account for about 40% of all workers comp claims in Canada. We recently asked what the biggest ergonomics-related hazard was in your workplace. You said: Poorly designed work stations (30%) Repetitive motions (27%) Improper lifting techniques (23%) Infrequent breaks (11%) Awkward work procedures (9%). Source: 11

12 INJURY PREVENTION Improve the task, workstation and/or environment Maximize the employees ability to perform the physical demands of the job OFFICE CONTROLS Rearrange workstation Adjustable workstation equipment Adjustable seating Tilt tables, inclines Different devices OFFICE ERGONOMICS 12

13 ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROLS Education and Training Job/Task Rotation Work Method Training Fitness and Wellness Programs Stretching Programs MOVEMENT CASE STATIONS REVIEW OF PROPER WORKSTATION SET UP 13

14 ERGO Worksheet Case Scenario Feet supported Knees at ~90 degrees Armrests at elbow level Slight incline on backrest Lumbar supported Elbows at keyboard height Top of monitor height at eye level Leg room If applicable, 2 nd monitor on dominant eye side Phone headset available No pressure on back of knees Incline unlocked Mouse at same level as keyboard Mouse close to midline of body Monitor ~ arm s length away Glare minimized Frequent items within arm s length Above shoulder level work avoided Thank you for attending this workshop! Questions? Inc. 14

15 Join Our 15

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