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Computer Workstation Ergonomics Self-Assessment Checklist

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Office workers who sit for many hours at a desk and working on a computer have a high-risk of getting ergonomic strains and other pains. These are results from repetitive moves, sitting in uncomfortable positions, tense neck, and inactive postures. Use this Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Computer Workstation Checklist to support neutral postures, relaxed seating, right brightness level, and appropriate positioning of computers and their features (monitors,etc.).
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Computer Workstation Ergonomics Self-Assessment Checklist

WORK STATIONS

Head, neck, and trunk are facing front; they are not awkwardly turned to look at monitor,documents or work).

The torso is upright to somewhat rested.

Wrists and hands are straight in alignment to the forearm.

Head and neck are stable and in-line with the torso; the ears are right above the shoulders and shoulders are not hunched forward or backwards.

Back is entirely supported by chair lumbar.

Shoulders and upper arms are relaxed and in a comfortable position. Upper arms are in-line with the torso, (not raised or leaned forward unless carried by desk surface).

Forearms are parallel to the floor and have about 90 to 100 degrees to the upper arms.

Feet rest even on the floor or can rest on a stable footrest if the work ground cannot be changed.

Elbows are near the body.

There is enough room under the work surface so that there is sufficient space between the top of the thighs and the desk.

Legs and feet have enough forward space under the work surface so the user can get close to the keyboard/input equipment.

Thighs are approximately parallel to the floor, and lower legs are roughly vertical to the floor, thighs can be a little bit elevated above knees.

Sharp ends that are in contact with hands, wrists, or forearms are stuffed or rounded.

SEATING

The chair has five strong legs.

Armrests, if used, should be changeable (up and down and in and out) and hold both forearms while the user works on computer tasks. They should not hinder the moving or positioning of the chair below the work surface.

The height of the backrest can be adjusted to support the lumber area.

Seat width and depth should fit the specific user; seat should be wide enough for ease of egress and adequately deep to hold the entire thigh but not too deep that the user cannot use lumbar support.

Seat front does not push against the back of users knees or lower legs. Thighs do not hang off too much of the front edge of the seat. (Seat pan shouldn't be too long nor too short)

The seat is sheltered and formed with a "waterfall" front (no sharpened end).

Casters are suitable for the floor. (They can easily move on carpet or other soft surfaces but do not move so easily on tile or hard surfaces that the chair "rolls" away when the user sits down or gets up from the chair).

Seat height is changeable as suited and allows appropriate adjustment with the work desk.

Accommodationsare straightforward and easy to do while sitting on the chair.

If there is a head rest, it is adjustable and doesn't push the head more forward as comfortable.

KEYBOARD/INPUT DEVICE

There are no sharp or hard ends that are in contact with the wrists and hands.

Keyboard/input device platform(s) can be modified so the hands are above the keyboard and the elbows near the torso (at an angle of 90 to 100 degrees).

A keyboard can be changed to a horizontal or a little bit negative slope.

Keyboard/input tool platform(s) is steady and large sufficient to support a keyboard or an input tool.

The input device can be easily activated, and the shape and size suit the hand (not too big/small). It may be helpful to have an input device that can be used with both hands to take periods of working rest.

The input tool (mouse or trackball) is placed right next to the keyboard so it can be operated without reaching too far.

The input tool is placed as close to the midline of the body as possible and at the same level as the keyboard.

If you/someone use/s a touchscreen device for data input, a keyboard and mouse are in place if the time of use is more than 2 hours per day or 30 minutes straight.

MONITOR

The monitor can be adjusted so that the top of the screen is at or below eye level in order that the user can read it without having an uncomfortable head or neck posture.

If multiple monitors are used, the position of the main monitor is right in front of the user and the other monitors are right beside the main monitor. If time of usage is the same between monitors, they are next to each other within a convenient viewing angle with minimal head moving.

There is enough space so that the monitor can be placed at a distance which permits the user to read the screen without having an uncomfortable head or neck posture.( about one arm length)

The position of the monitor is straight in front of the user so they do not have to twist head or neck.

Window or lights glare is not reflected on screen so that the user won't have to squint or sit in awkward postures to clearly see information shown on the screen.

The monitor can be sufficiently adjusted so users with bifocals/trifocals can read the screen without having an uncomfortable head or neck posture.

Monitor brightness and contrast are suited for comfort.

MOBILE DEVICES

A separate keyboard and mouse are in place when tablets are used if the user needs to type for a long time.

Tablets and smartphones should be used with relaxed shoulders, arms positioned near the torso, and neck in a comfortable posture.

In case that laptops are used as the main computer, they are set up applying the same ergonomic principles as desktop computers. A separate keyboard and input device are implemented.

If you use laptops outside the office, user postures should be changed often to improve neck and wrist position and work time on a laptop should be minimized, if possible.

ACCESSORIES

The phone is placed close to the workplace to prevent excessive reaches.

The document holder is set at about the same height and range as the monitor screen.

If there is a document holder in place, it is stable and big enough for the documents.

If there is a wrist/palm rest in place, it supports user to keep his/her forearms, wrists, and hands straight and in-line when using the keyboard/input device. The height of that wrist/palm rest is the same as the front edge of the keyboard.

If there is a wrist/palm rest in place, it is stuffed and free of sharp or square ends that come in contact with the wrists.

There is a footrest in place when the feet are not even on the floor because the keyboard and monitor do not have enough adjustability. If used, the footrest should be angled and hold both feet.

If phone and computer are used concurrently, this may demand the use of a headset.

If a headset is used, it has a comfortable fit and is not too tight or too loose.

GENERAL CONCEPTS

Computer tasks are worked on in a way that users can vary keyboard tasks with other work activities or provide an opportunity for little breaks or recovery pauses while they are at the computer workplace.

A computer workstation, components, and accessories are sustained in a good condition and work appropriate.

Workstation and devices have enough adjustability, so users are in a good working posture and can easily change their posture while working on computer tasks.

Objects that must be used often are within easy reach, generally with the elbows close to the body. Objects that are barely used can be at full arms reach.

Lighting levels are changeable. Brighter task lights should be used for paperwork and lower lighting should be used for computer work.

A user can choose between sitting and standing postures or actions to provide opportunities for moving and variability throughout the shift. Sitting or standing for too long should be avoided.

COMPLETION

Do you have any recommendations?

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