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IBM PC COMPANY IMPLEMENTS INTERNATIONAL ERGONOMIC, HEALTH AND SAFETY STANDARDS

 SOMERS, N.Y., March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The IBM PC Company said today that all its new business-oriented personal computer products will be designed to comply with the most comprehensive worldwide health, safety and ergonomic standards by the end of the year. This covers desktop and floor-standing business units, displays and keyboards.
 In addition, the IBM PC Company will become the first computer manufacturer in the world to test these products in platforms for compliance with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standard 9241, which addresses the health, safety and comfort of visual display terminal users.
 The tested platforms will consist of specified system units, keyboards, displays, and operating systems/applications with appropriate fonts.
 These platforms will also be tested for compliance with other related ergonomic, health and safety standards, including: national standards for Display Workplaces in Great Britain and Germany; the American National Standard for Human Factors Engineering for Visual Display Terminal (VDT) Workstations; and Sweden's standards covering Test Methods for Emission Characteristics, and Noise of Computer Equipment.
 "We're not just saying that we've got a compliant component," said Robert J. Corrigan, IBM vice president and president of the IBM PC Company. "We're saying that entire platforms are tested for compliance. And if a customer has a special application, we'll have the means to test and assist in making that compliant too."
 For customers, ISO 9241 compliance will ultimately lead to computer products that are comfortable and easy to use under a wide range of conditions.
 Supplier's Declaration
 The move will affect hundreds of IBM products, beginning with select models of premium brand PS/2s, of which seven have already been tested for ISO compliance.
 Customers who purchase these new systems will receive, upon request, a comprehensive "Supplier's Declaration" detailing platform test results provided by the IBM PC Company's validation centers in Scotland, Japan and the United States. The first in a series of Declarations is being released today to dealers and local branch offices around the world.
 The IBM PC Company's procedures for testing to ISO 9241 Part 3 covering visual display requirements have been accredited by the National Measurements Accreditation Service, which is part of the National Physical Laboratory in Great Britain.
 New Ergonomics Center
 To help support the compliance effort, the IBM PC Company has established a special center that will be responsible for developing world-class ergonomic designs.
 The Office Ergonomics Center of Competency has a broad mission that includes: creating leading-edge ergonomic product designs; developing products that enhance the education, employability and quality of life for people with disabilities; managing research projects, and providing educational support services to customers.
 The facility features a Human Vision Center, which will study current and future visual display technologies, and a Workstation Ergonomics Center, that will examine evolving interface technologies like touch screens, tablets, and voice recognition. Both centers will be based in Boca Raton, Fla.
 Growing Emphasis on Ergonomics
 "We see a growing emphasis on ergonomics from our customers throughout Europe and the United States," Corrigan said. "And we're committed to developing advanced ergonomic solutions that give our products the highest degree of user comfort and convenience, as well as enhancing user productivity."
 As part of its mission, the Ergonomics Center will examine alternate office designs in a joint study with Steelcase Inc., a leading designer and manufacturer of office furniture, based in Grand Rapids, Mich.
 The Center will also be conducting classes at Boca Raton on health and safety legislation in Europe, the ISO 9241 Standard and IBM's validation procedures. The classes, which will be conducted beginning in July, will be geared to customers, systems engineers, application developers and customer health and safety committees.
 IBM (NYSE: IBM) is sending out letters to over 1,000 independent software vendors announcing a specially designed class which will be available beginning in June. The Ergonomics Center will be directed by James F. McDonough. Reporting to Mr. McDonough are: Dr. Richard E. Granda, International Ergonomics Standards; Paul F. Snayd, VDT/Special Needs Project Office; and Dr. Sandra E. Gibbs, manager of Office Ergonomics Programs.
 -0- 3/29/93
 /CONTACT: Mark Misercola of Jennings & Co., 914-251-5987, for IBM PC Co/
 (IBM)


CO: International Business Machines Corp. ST: New York IN: CPR SU:

WB -- NY096 -- 0691 03/29/93 16:38 EST
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