Developing good ergonomic design in a workplace is a sound risk-management strategy for reducing the likelihood of injuries.
On hearing the word ‘ergonomics’, many of us might think of office chairs, and sitting correctly at our desks. But ergonomics is quite a bit more than that. It refers to the design and arrangement of workplace environments, in terms of space, layouts, shelving, privacy and other factors.
Here’s a quick rundown of ergonomics for workstations.
The recommended minimum of space for workstations is 6sqm. It’s also recommended that workstations be flexible and adaptable to the job rather than static, and that they suit the person using them.
Considerations for workstation design include:
- Chairs – these should provide good lumbar support, be stable and adjustable, and have a curved front edge.
- Seated positions – elbows should be about level with the keyboard, and eyes slightly higher or level with the top of the screen.
- Shelves – should be easily accessible without excessive twisting, bending or reaching.
Poor ergonomics can lead to muscular strain, back pain, RSI and excessive fatigue, which can in turn result in higher workers’ compensation costs. It’s worthwhile to pay attention to your workplace’s ergonomics for the wellbeing, productivity and safety of your office staff, and your bottom line.