Ergonomics

The Ergonomics Program supports employees by providing training, ergonomic evaluations, recommendations and planning for the office and the trades. As we spend approximately 1/3 of our day at work, it is important to consistently integrate safe work practices. Ensure that you take 1 – 2 minutes breaks twice an hour to alternate your posture, stretch and take a moment to relax.

Ergonomics Training

How to Request an Ergonomic Evaluation

Please contact the Workers' Compensation, ADA, and Leave Specialist to request an ergonomic evaluation.

As an additional resource, SSU EHS Training: Ergonomics in the Workplace is a 20 minute training available for you to take through CSU Learn.

Safe Work Practices

Microbreaks

It is important to integrate movement into your routine and avoid prolonged and/or awkward postures. Aim to alternate your posture every 20-30 minutes for 2-3 minutes.

Why are microbreaks so important? Taking frequent breaks will aide in reducing ergonomic injury risk by promoting blood flow and allowing you to regain focus on proper postures. Microbreaks are simple… walk to the printer, stand up for phone calls or frequently get refreshments.

Minimize Mouse Usage

The mouse can be a culprit for wrist discomfort but by minimizing your mouse usage, you reduce the risk for an ergonomic related injury. Mouse usage can be minimized by mousing with your non-dominant hand (mouse left handed when you typically are right handed) or utilize keyboard shortcuts.

Lifting and Manual Handling Guidance

It is important to understand the risk factors that may lead to a lifting or manual handling related injury and the steps necessary to reduce your risk. Risk factors include heavy lifting, duration, repetitive stress and awkward postures such as bending or twisting.

With back injuries affecting approximately 80% of the American population, it is important to focus on lifting and handling methods to minimize the risk of injury. How can you minimize your risk?

1. Think before you lift. Assess and analyze the object to be lifted and the situation. Does the object weigh more than 25 lbs?

  • For heavy objects, use a push cart, mechanical aide (ie: scissor lift) or perform lift with a colleague(s).

Is the object awkward to carry?

  • For awkward objects, use a push cart, mechanical aide or perform lift with a colleague(s).

What is the distance the object will need to be carried?

  • For greater distances, use a push cart or a vehicle for relocation.

Is the path free of debris?

  • Ensure that paths are clear to avoid slip, trip or fall accidents.

2. Perform lifts using the proper lifting posture

  • Stand with feet approximately shoulder width apart
  • As you squat: bend at the knees, press your seat back, tighten your core and keep your chest forward
  • Maintain the natural curvature of your spine
  • Keep your head up
  • Ensure a strong grip on the object
  • Power through the LEGS as you lift. DO NOT LIFT WITH YOUR BACK
  • Lift in a smooth and controlled motion.
  • Use proper lifting posture as you lower the object. Ensure your core is tight and you are using your leg muscles.

3. Manual Handling/Carrying Objects

  • Do not twist the spine! Use whole body movements to rotate.
  • Maintain a close distance to the object, you should carry the object as close to your core as possible.

Ergonomic Showroom

An Ergonomic Showroom Cubicle is available within the Payroll and Benefits Department. A collection of demo chairs, keyboard, mice and height adjustable workstations are available to view by appointment only.

For additional information or appointments, please contact the Workers' Compensation, ADA, and Leave Specialist .

Work Related Injuries

Work-Related Injuries and Discomfort

If you are experiencing a work-related injury, report symptoms to your supervisor and contact the Workers' Compensation, ADA, and Leave Specialist at 4-2664.

Symptoms may be presented as:

  • Numbness or tingling feeling
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain/discomfort
  • Limited range of motion

Work Related Injuries are to be reported within 24 hours to the Workers’ Compensation Coordinator. The WC Coordinator will assist in triaging the injury and scheduling of appointments with Kaiser Permanente’s Occupational Health Center.

Reporting of Work-Related Injuries requires the injured worker to complete the DWC1 form and for the supervisor to complete the Supervisor’s First Report form. Please FAX completed forms to the confidential WC FAX line at (707) 664-4049.

For additional information regarding Workers’ Compensation, please contact the Workers' Compensation, ADA, and Leave Specialist at 4-2664 or visit Worker's Compensation.