Submit SRJC Ergonomic Self-Assessment
Definition of Ergonomics
Ergonomics is the science and practice of designing jobs and workplaces to match the capabilities and limitations of the human body. The focus of ergonomics is fitting the work to the worker, instead of making the worker fit the work. By following sound ergonomic principles, we are able to promote employee health by decreasing workplace exposure to the risk of ergonomic injury caused by awkward or static positions and repetitive stress.
If present, an ergonomic injury, also known as a musculoskeletal disorder, or MSD, will usually appear in the soft tissues of the body-the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, arteries and veins. Symptoms of an ergonomic injury can include: discomfort or pain; swelling; stiffness, tight muscles, loss of flexibility in a joint; unusual sensations-numbness, tingling, burning, heaviness, "pins and needles" or "falling asleep"-of the hands, arms, legs or feet; shooting or stabbing pains in arms or legs; weakness or clumsiness in hands, and dropping things.
Having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have an injury, but if the symptoms are persistent or worsen, you should:
- Report them to your supervisor
- Fill out the SRJC Ergonomic Self-Assessment and implement any suggestions into your workspace if possible
- Request an ergonomic assessment by HR/Employee Health and Safety at firstname.lastname@example.org or (707) 524-1654.
Ergonomic Support and Guides
- Office Ergonomics Procedure
Santa Rosa Junior College is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for employees. Human Resource's Employee Health and Safety Department has developed a program to remedy work-related repetitive motion injuries (RMI) by educating employees with proper postural positioning through assessment and/or access to Keenan SafeColleges, which provides online ergonomic training for college employees. In addition, this policy provides recommended ergonomic products to purchase based upon applicability, durability, cost, performance, availability, and ease of use. This policy provides broad ergonomic guidelines that departments must consider when utilizing PC workstations on campus.
Goals and Objectives
The goal of the Ergonomic Program is to effectively eliminate or control Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders and hazards by providing management leadership, recognize, and control hazards and employee involvement in identifying and resolving hazards.
Our objective is to provide a safe working environment for employees while interacting with the elements of their jobs or tasks as part of their routine work assignment; provide an ergonomic policy and procedural guideline to assist departments, to reduce workers' compensation costs and increase efficiency, productivity, and enhance employee morale.
Our purpose is to reduce or eliminate hazards that contribute to the development of Musculoskeletal injuries (MSI), disorders that are caused, precipitated, or aggravated by repetitive motions. In order to achieve this, we must utilize primary tools such as:
- Worksite evaluations
- Employee and supervisor training
- Implementation of ergonomic control strategies
- Provide continuous, on-going ergonomic approach.
Santa Rosa Junior College staff and faculty members are responsible for contributing to a safe and healthy work environment. It is our responsibility to minimize hazards in the work place. Employees are encouraged to review information and participate in education and training opportunities that will assist in contributing to a healthy work environment.
Non-work activities can also cause or contribute to discomfort and medical impairments, so employees are urged to apply ergonomic principles outside the workplace as well.
Supervisors are encouraged to provide employees with appropriate ergonomics training, reinforcement, and assistance. This can be accomplished as follows:
- Promote a safe and healthy work environment
- Maintain awareness of MSI risks
- Evaluate the work environment for proper ergonomic practices and conditions
- Promptly report all employee injuries and employee complaints regarding MSI symptoms
- Provide proper workstations and assistive devices
- Consult with HR/Employee Health and Safety for further assistance and recommendations.
HR/Employee Health and Safety
HR/Employee Health and Safety's mission is to reduce risks to health, safety, and ergonomics in the SRJC Community. It is our responsibility to:
- Consult with and notify management of ergonomic regulations and requirements
- Coordinate and schedule ergonomic workstation evaluations to reduce cumulative trauma injuries
- Provide ergonomic training and education for employees, supervisors, and managers through Keenan SafeColleges
- Evaluate individual and departmental workstations after an injury has occurred
- Provide consultative ergonomic assistance to Departments, as requested
- Annually review and update the Ergonomics Program to ensure it in compliance with state and federal regulations.
Employees are responsible for conducting themselves in accordance with this policy and program. Employees are responsible for the following:
- Perform simple exercises and stretches
- Actively participate in training as required, and apply the knowledge and skills acquired to actual jobs, tasks, processes, and work activities
- Immediately report MSI symptoms and work-related injuries to manager/supervisor
- Complete the SRJC Ergonomic Self-Assessment
- Take responsibility for their personal health and safety.
Purchasing provides assistance and advice on procurement of ergonomically sound furniture and equipment from various vendors. Purchasing is responsible for:
- Researching, selecting, and publishing purchasing options
- Providing quotes for ergonomic chairs, desks, sit-stand workstations, etc.
- Ensuring that all ergonomic tools, equipment, and furniture are ordered from the District's list of approved vendors.
- Preventing Ergonomic Injury
The key to preventing an office ergonomic injury is having a proper workstation setup. See the Healthy Workstation Guidelines by Humanscale for more information.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website offers an eTool that allows an individual to conduct an ergonomic self-assessment to create a safe and comfortable computer workstation based on good ergonomic practices.
Another important measure to prevent ergonomic injury is to take micro-breaks, e.g., by following the "20-20-20 Rule." Every 20 minutes, look up from your computer and look at something 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. Taking micro-breaks does not decrease productivity and will help to prevent MSD's. You can also do other things to "give yourself a break," such as:
- Move your printer to an area that reqiures you to stand up and walk to get your printout
- stand up for telephone calls
- go to the restroom or get a cup of coffee/water
- alter your tasks - break up continuous computer time by checking telephone messages, reading reports, etc.
Stretching can help increase flexibility and loosen tight muscles that could contribute to an ergonomic injury. Try stretching while you take your micro-break.
- Ergonomic Assessment Process
Employees in need of an ergonomic assessment should:
- Inform their supervisor that they wish to have such an assessment performed
- Fill out the SRJC Ergonomic Self-Assessment
- The employee or supervisor will contact HR/Employee Health and Safety with their request for an ergonomic assessment
- HR/Employee Health and Safety will schedule an assessment (this appointment can take from 30 to 60 minutes)
- After the assessment is complete, a report will be provided with the findings to the employee. If there are any ergonomic recommendations for the employee, HR/Employee Health and Safety will email them to the employee and supervisor
- If an assessment's recommendations include the procurement of workstation equipment (e.g. an ergonomic task chair, keyboard tray, desk, sit stand desk/equipment, mice, computer keyboard, etc.), the department is responsible for the cost
- If there are no funds available for the purchase, funding can be requested from their department dean or supervising administration
- Procurement of Ergonomic Chairs, Furniture, Keyboard Trays
Contact the Purchasing Department at (707) 527-4422 for sit stand desks, standard desks, keyboard trays, and chair purchases. Purchasing will provide the quote and the department will need to order the product.