The goal of Cal Poly's ergonomics program is to reduce the risk and severity of musculoskeletal injuries by identifying ergonomic risk and implementing effective control measures to reduce the risk. Common musculosleletal injuries include sprains and strains.
The first step in reducing your risk of a musculoskeketal injury is to understand what work tasks you are doing that put you at risk. Faculty, staff, and student workers who are at risk should discuss the risk with their supervisor and complete EHS Ergononics for Office Workers training within the Learning Hub by clicking this link.
Risk Assessment Tools for Employees and Supervisors
Skillsoft developed risk assessment tools to assist employees and supervisors with identifying risk and effective control measures. The training course above contains job aid checklists that can be used to identify and discuss risk. EHS is developing a Ergonomic Self Assessment to assist employees and supervisors with risk identification.
Ergonomic Guidance for Telecommuting
Below are some tips to prevent repetitive motion injury or discomfort while telecommuting. Designate a work area that allows for sitting or standing in a neutral position avoiding prolonged static or awkward postures that strain muscles. Work areas should have sufficient lighting, minimal glare, and a comfortable chair to provide back support. Work with your supervisor to temporarily bring your ergonomic equipment such as laptops, tablets, monitors, keyboards, mice, and chairs home to allow flexibility in work posture. Take a 1-2 minute break every 30 minutes to stretch. If you are experiencing discomfort a greater break period may be required in addition to repositioning your work. Take advantage of any opportunity to move your body and maintain adequate blood flow, (e.g. use a hands-free option to stand or walk while on the phone, utilize voice dictation software). Workers who spend greater than 4 hours a day using a computer or are experiencing discomfort should complete EHS Ergonomics for Office Workers training. This class provides workers and supervisors with information on ergonomic risk factors and control measures to assist them with completing a self-evaluation to identify ergonomic risk (low, medium, high) and appropriate control measures.
For further assistance with Ergonomic training, self evaluations or EHS ergonomic evaluations please contact Christina Juarez in EHS at 805-756-6674.
If you are experiencing ongoing pain while at your workstation, notify your supervisor and complete an injury report.
Resources for Ergonomic Office Funiture for Temporary Home Offices due to COVID-19
Faculty and staff who are at risk for ergonomic injury when telecommuting for COVID 19 should work with their supervisor to transport office ergonomic equipment home using the employees vehicle or Meathead Movers. EHS does not recommend moving desks from campus to home due to excessive weight and specilized equipment required to transport safely. Departments should consider using plastic folding tables for this purpose as they are light weight and easy to transport. Please document the equipment you take home on your telecommuting agreement or with your supervisor.