A hazard assessment should be completed for the various job tasks performed at your workstation. Setting up your work area by using the correct equipment and positioning your tools and devices properly can have a significant impact on the level of strain your daily tasks place on your body.
Evaluate what tasks you perform the most and critically look at the items on your workstation. The items that you use the most should be the closest to you. Arrange your work area so you can reduce awkward postures necessary to perform physical functions. If you must overreach for frequently used items, the potential for injury increases. By rearranging your work area, you may also improve your efficiency.
Use an organizer to keep your workstation as uncluttered as possible. Store heavy items at work level or lower to avoid reaching above shoulder level for items that will place great stress on your neck and shoulders. Proper use of a document holder will help reduce potential neck strain. Be sure to place the document holder at the same height and distance as your monitor, which we will review shortly.
A best practice is to use a height-adjustable workstation that provides the user with the ability to alternate between sitting and standing if the user is using the workstation for extended periods. Standing allows your spine to remain extended, placing less stress on your spine and lower back. If you are standing for a long period, a footrest should be used to alternate taking pressure off from each side of the body.
[Let’s look at some of the most common areas in an office that should be evaluated from an ergonomics perspective during a hazard assessment.]
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