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VDT work station standards proposed.

A society of ergonomics--or "human factors"--professionals has drafted the first set of proposed national standards for video display termainal (VDT) "work stations." The proposal is under consideration now for adoption by the New York-based American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

The proposed, voluntary standards, which would apply to the working environments of world processors, data entry workers and other office workers who use VDTs, include, requirements and suggestions for such things as screen display resolution, keyboard slope and chair design.

"Our recommendations are either justified by good, scientific research or else, in some areas where research results aren't in yet, they were dictated by standard 'human factors engineering' principles," says Gene Lynch, chair of the California-based Human Factors Society committee responsible for drafting the 72-page list of guidelines.

The document must now undergo three months of public review and comment, and then, according to ANSI spokesperson Dorothy Hogan, if ANSI's Board of Standards Review decides that "all concerned interests" have reached "substantial agreement" about the standards, ANSI will adopt them.

ANSI standards are voluntarily adhered to, but are thought to affect product marketability, says Lynch.

The Washington, D.C.-based Computer and Business Equipment Manufacturers' Association says it has not yet had time to develop a position on the standards. Representatives from the Service Employees International Union, made up of 850,000 office workers and also based in Washington, could not be reached for comment.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Jul 27, 1985
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