Ergonomics

Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the applied science of equipment and process design intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort. Simply put, ergonomics is the science of designing the job to fit the worker, rather than physically forcing the worker to fit the job. Our Ergonomics webpage will assist you in the following areas of ergonomics: Computer Workstation Ergonomics, Laboratory Ergonomics and Back Safety/Materials Handling.

Computer Workstation

Ergonomic Sitting

Ensuring your computer workstation is properly set-up and aligned can prevent repetitive stress injury or discomfort. As a starter, all users should complete the EH&S Computer Workstation Self Evaluation Assessment online training program. This program is intended to educate users on the basics of ergonomics and apply this knowledge to a self-evaluation and correction of their workstation. If additional assistance is needed, EH&S can provide an in-person evaluation of your workstation by completing this online request form.

Laboratory

Microscope

Apart from the potential risk of working daily with hazardous substances, laboratory personnel also have the potential to be exposed to many ergonomic risk factors due to the nature of their work such as: the height of their work benches and the research they conduct is often prolonged for many hours.

Back Safety/Material Handling

Back Pain

Harvard employees engaged in facilities operations including, but not limited to, landscape services, solid waste/recycling, custodial services, mailroom, warehouse, dining services and animal handling work have been recognized risks for ergonomic injury. Their often-repetitive tasks require lifting and transporting awkward and heavy loads of various sizes. Please review the online resources for back safety/materials handling for information on proper body mechanics and safety. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Department Contact

Mary Tomey-Streeto
Senior Safety Officer
617.496.0991

Did You Know?

Return On Investment (ROI): The estimated annual cost savings associated with averting a single musculoskeletal disorder-related workers’ compensation claim is $22,546. The total includes the value of lost production, medical costs and insurance administrative costs, and indirect costs to employers.

If you are uncomfortable at your workstation the 4 minute video below demonstrates how to properly adjust your workstation equipment to greatly improve ergonomics.

Workstation Ergo Tips