Pipette Ergonomics

Frequent use of pipette’s are common in creating injury, especially when awkward postures and force are present for extended durations. The pipette design can play a role in user posture and force application.

Read the additional information below as well as review the pipette ergonomics training video. Consider also scheduling and ergonomic evaluation of your lab workstation and a review of the pipettes and processes used when pipetting.

Pipette Posture

  • Keep the wrists as straight as possible in a neutral wrist posture
  • Avoid over gripping the pipette
  • Set down the pipette when not in use
  • Use a hook support to support the pipette when not in use
  • Maintain a neutral elbow posture (keep the elbows close to the body in a relaxed position
  • Adjust from sitting to standing if feasible
  • Take regular breaks (2-3 minute break for every 15-30 minutes of pipette work)

Pipette design

  • Whenever possible use alternative pipettes such as an electronic pipette, repeater pipette, multichannel pipette, etc.
  • If feasible, consider/try pipettes which have an alternative design to minimize thumb activation
  • Ensure pipette tips are easy to adhere to the pipette and have minimal tip ejection forces.
  • Choose light weight pipettes with ideal design (proper diameter, length, weight, reduce trigger force, tip ejection force, easy volume control adjustment)
    • Contact the ergonomics office for additional information and to obtain more detailed design criteria and recommendations

Pipette Workstation

  • Keep all frequently used items within easy reach (<16”)
  • Use tools and other equipment with a design to allow for minimal reach.
  • Ensure workbench height is appropriate (work should be at sitting or standing elbow height). Ideally, height adjustable workstation should be used
  • If chairs are used, ensure design meet all necessary ergonomic criteria.
    • Contact the ergonomics office for additional information and to obtain more detailed design criteria and recommendations
  • Ensure no leg obstructions under the workbench. Pencil drawers, file or storage drawers, trash cans or other bins, boxes, etc. should be removed to allow for ideal leg clearance
    • Contact the ergonomics office for additional information and to obtain more detailed design criteria and recommendations
  • Use anti-fatigue mats when standing in one location for prolonged periods is necessary

Pipette Ergo Training Video
Schedule an Industrial (Laboratory) Ergonomics Evaluation

Contact CSU Ergonomics