Although laboratory employees performing daily work processes and conducting research often work with hazardous materials that 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. When working for extended durations in with fume hoods, biosafety cabinet, using a microscope or a pipette, the risk for injury can increase when coupled with awkward postures and/or forceful exertion.
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 the implementation of proper ergonomics, human interaction with the work environment, tools, and equipment will improve and productivity will increase while the 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. Although an ergonomic evaluation is always highly recommended, to help determine whether an ergonomic evaluation may be warranted, complete the following checklist.
To schedule an industrial ergonomic evaluation (tasks not related to office or computer work) click on the below links and complete the necessary documentation to request a formal evaluation. (Ergonomic evaluation services are provided to CSU employees and departments at no charge).