Although laboratory employees performing daily work processes and conducting research often work with hazardous materials which pose their own set of risks, the exposure to ergonomic injury risk factors may often go unnoticed. Ergonomic risks for laboratory employees are the same as any office related work setting or any in general industry. Working with fume hoods, biosafety cabinets and performing tasks including pipetting and microscope work especially for extended duration along with awkward postures and/or forceful exertion are common in creating an ergonomic related injury.
Ergonomics is the science that seeks to minimize or eliminate exposure to injury risk factors by designing tools, equipment, workstations and processes to meet the capabilities of humans. Through implementation of proper ergonomics, human interaction with the work environment, tools, and equipment will improve and productivity will increase while risk for injury will decrease. To ensure workplace ergonomic hazards are identified, an ergonomic evaluation or assessment of the workplace or job tasks may be warranted.
When should an ergonomic evaluation be conducted?
An evaluation should not take place after pain and discomfort are already present. An ergonomic evaluation should be used as a preventive measure to identify, evaluate and control ergonomic injury risk factors. An evaluation is always highly recommended, however, to help determine whether an ergonomic evaluation may be warranted, complete the following check list.
To schedule an industrial ergonomic evaluation (tasks not related to office or computer work) click on the below links and complete necessary paperwork to request a formal evaluation.
Laboratory Ergonomics Resources
Contact CSU’s Ergonomics Coordinator
for additional information or with any questions.