Chairs, keyboards and desks are part of safety for office workers

by on January 20, 2011 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

Manual workers may be at greatest risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), but that doesn’t mean you can forget about white-collar employees.

The American Society for Safety Engineers (ASSE) notes that office equipment needs to be ergonomically sound to keep users healthy and productive. Here, from the ASSE, are three points about office equipment that you may want to put under the nose of those responsible for procurement:

  • Chairs should have a five point star base for stability, an adjustable backrest (angle, height, and depth) that supports the low back and an adjustable seat pan (height, forward and backward, and tilt angle). The edge of the seat pan should be at least 4 inches from the soft tissue area behind the knee. The chair should adjust in height to allow a greater than 90 degree angle between the trunk and the thigh. Armrests should be padded and adjustable both up and down and in and out, and should swivel.
  • Computer keyboards should be detachable and adjustable to allow straight/parallel hand-forearm posture.
  • A desk or tabletop should give enough legroom to let a seated worker adjust his or her posture, while also providing a 90-degree angle of the elbow and the work surface. The same holds for the elbow angle for standing users and sit-stand users.

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