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Ergonomic tips for the workplace. (Risk Tips).

With workplace musculoskeletal disorders being the single largest occupational safety and health problem, the need for an effective ergonomic system is critical. In fact, an initial investment in ergonomic programs can increase productivity and save money long-term, according to officials with the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) in Des Plaines, Ill. Here are some tips from the ASSE to increase safety in the office.

* A chair should have a five-point star base for stability, an adjustable backrest that provides lumbar support, and an adjustable seat pan. Armrests should be padded, adjustable up and down and in and out, and swivel.

* The top of the computer display screen should be slightly below eye level (20[degrees]).

* Keyboards should be detachable and adjustable to allow straight/parallel hand-forearm posture. This is often accomplished using a wrist rest. The keyboard slope should be no greater than 15[degrees].

* A desk or tabletop should allow legroom for posture adjustments for the seated worker while also providing a 90[degrees] angle of the elbow and the work surface.

* For lighting and glare, the characters on the computer screen should be brighter than the screen background. Bright light sources in the peripheral field of the computer screen should be avoided.

* For posture, the head should be tilted 15[degrees] forward or less to maintain a vertical position. The elbows should be kept close to the body or supported. The lumbar curve of the back should be maintained. Feet should not dangle and should always be supported.
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Publication:Risk & Insurance
Date:May 1, 2002
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