Washington State University
SAFETY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL

GENERAL WORKPLACE SAFETY
2.74
Revised 12-08
Reviewed 5-13
Environmental Health and Safety
335-3041

Ergonomics

PDF link

OVERVIEW

Ergonomics involves evaluating equipment, tools, tasks, and work environments to identify and control physical risk factors that can lead to musculoskeletal disorders and computer vision syndrome.

Physical risk factors are controlled by applying ergonomic principles when designing, modifying and/or adjusting equipment, tools, tasks, and the work environment to fit the employee.

Ergonomic principles apply to office, laboratory, industrial, agricultural, and all other work environments.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy and procedure is to:

ERGONOMIC EVALUATIONS

Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is available to conduct ergonomic evaluations when:

REPORTING MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDERS AND COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME

Musculoskeletal disorders are soft-tissue injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, blood vessels and nerves. Symptoms might include chronic discomfort, fatigue, pain, swelling, stiffness, burning, numbness, tingling, and limited range of motion of the fingers, hands, wrists, elbows, knees, neck, and back.

Computer vision syndrome is a collection of symptoms associated with viewing a computer monitor for prolonged periods of time. Symptoms might include burning, itchy, watery or dry eyes; eyestrain/blurred vision; headaches, and neck and back aches.

Employees

Employees experiencing symptoms consistent with musculoskeletal disorders and/or computer vision syndrome are:

Supervisors

Supervisors, upon notification of potential musculoskeletal disorders and/or computer vision syndrome, are:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Contact the following departments or offices for additional ergonomic information and assistance and refer to the cited SPPM section.

EH&S

The EH&S publication Office Ergonomics--Adjusting Your Environment contains steps to assist employees in setting-up their computer workstations. This publication and other ergonomic related information are available at the EH&S Ergonomics website at:

http://ehs.wsu.edu/

Select Workplace Safety, and then
Select Ergonomics.

EH&S is available to perform ergonomic evaluations and training sessions. Departments at the WSU Pullman campus contact EH&S at 335-3041. For EH&S services at non-Pullman locations, refer to the Statewide EH&S Services website at:

http://www.tricity.wsu.edu/BC-RS/statewide.asp

University Stores

Computer furniture trial and acquisition; telephone 335-9027.

SPPM 2.76

Back Injury Prevention and Treatment.