Every employee at UCSC should at all times be an active participant in preventing injuries to themselves and others. Employees and supervisors need to be aware of the potential for injury and capable of altering their surroundings or processes to prevent injury and avoid unnecessary risk. These actions and behaviors are common elements of a sustained safety culture and are essential components of an effective ergonomics program. Supervisors and employees need to know the simple basics of good workstation ergonomics and then put these principles into practice on a daily basis. Good ergonomic practices related to computer workstations are easy to understand, implement and monitor. If you use a computer workstation for more than 4 hours a day or 20 hours a week, EH&S recommends you work with your supervisor to take the following steps to ensure you are in compliance with the California Department of Occupational Safety & Health ergonomics rule, adhering to the provisions of UC labor contracts and are meeting the requirements of your departmental Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Most importantly you should follow these guidelines to ensure you meet the goal of remaining injury-free at your workstation.
If you are:
A) A new employee, someone who has moved to a new workstation, or someone who has general questions or concerns about the ergonomics of your computer set up:
Sign up and take our UCSC online ergonomic assessment and training module. You can access it from the link on this page below.Make the changes suggested during this training class to your workstation to achieve the best posture.
Review the email from the online ergonomic training system with your supervisor and/or Departmental Ergonomic Assessor to identify any remaining needs.
If you believe you need new or different equipment to solve a problem, discuss your situation with your supervisor, office manager, or Departmental Ergonomic Assessor and work together to find a workable solution.
If you are unsure whether you need new equipment or need information about what types of ergonomic equipment, including chairs, are available to solve your problems, contact the Campus Ergonomist, Brian MacDonald at 459-5430 at EH&S. A small selection of alternative keyboards and pointing devices are available for loan.
On a daily basis, ensure your equipment is properly adjusted and your posture remains appropriate. As much as possible make a habit of frequently changing your work processes (i.e. stand up, look away from your screen, do a couple of stretches), to avoid overstressing your body.
If you are unable to complete the UCSC online training and assessment or do not understand how to apply the information to yourself and your workstation, contact Brian, 459-5430 to discuss this further or to schedule a site-visit.
B) Experiencing discomfort, aches, numbness, tingling, pain or other symptoms which are believed to be caused by or associated with your workstation set up proceed as follows:
If you have not yet filed an injury report you should inform your supervisor of your situation and call your Departmental Ergonomic Assessor or Brian (459-5430) for an evaluation. DO THIS RIGHT AWAY because it is important to try some type of intervention as soon as possible to prevent an injury from occurring.
If you have already filed an injury report and are being treated for an ergonomic injury, speak to your occupational physician and request an ergonomic evaluation through the medical provider.
If you believe you should have a medical evaluation for your symptoms, please inform your supervisor and request assistance with the injury reporting process.
C) A manager who supervises employees with the CX designation, or who are members of the CUE bargaining unit:
Whenever you bring a new employee into your group, you need to provide them with information on logging into theUCSC online ergonomic training and self assessment and go over the results with them to determine what ergonomic needs should be met. If you have questions on how to correct a problem identified by the self-assessment or the employee, contact Brian, 9-5430 at EH&S.
D) A manager or supervisor intending to refurbish an office or upgrade existing furniture:
For furniture design and office layout assistance, contact Janine Faylor of PBI at 757-4107, Ext: 201 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a service provided by PBI and there is a fee. PBI is the local provider for furniture under the systemwide Steelcase contract. To try out a variety of chairs, contact Brian for an appointment in our ergonomic product showroom. These are not available for loan at the present time; however, you can see and try out the chairs in the showroom and consult with Brian about the features and benefits of the various models available.
Need help paying for ergonomic equipment? Check out our Matching Funds Program
Departmental Ergonomic Assessors can find forms and additional information on our ErgoCruz page.
ATTENTION: Re: Desktop ergonomic support and stretch break software. The Remedy International computer desktop stretch break software is no longer available for download by UCSC employees.
A new product will be available for download in the future and this page will provide a link to it here as soon as it becomes available.
UCSC employees have access to an online ergonomic self assessment and training tool. It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete, but can be done in smaller sessions, as it allows you to stop and then return to the same point later. You can review it at any time at your convenience. The assessment portion asks simple questions that will help pinpoint your personal risk areas, and then the program provides education targeted at your identified risks. There are also micro-break stretches and information on how to change your setup to enhance comfort and ergonomic safety. You will also receive personalized follow-up recommendations and periodic reminders to update your profile and note any changes that have taken place in your workstation.
To sign up for the training and self assessment, go to UCSC online ergonomic training. Enter your Employee ID and Last Name where requested to enter the system.
UCLA computer workstation ergonomics video
Cal/OSHA Ergonomics Standard
Ergonomic resources page at UC San Diego
Ergonomic resource page at UCLA
Cal/OSHA publication on computer ergonomics
Computer Workstation Design
Computer and Desk Stretches
What You Should Know to Protect Your Wrists From Injury
List of ergonomic equipment vendors most commonly used by UCSC
Oklahoma State U list of ergonomic resource links
List of office safety books available from amazon.com at special order prices through University of Vermont
Laboratory ergonomic safety checklist (developed by the UC ergonomic workgroup)
Laboratory Ergonomic Recommended Product List (developed by the UC ergonomic workgroup)
Article on six ways to improve ergonomics in the laboratory setting
Laboratory ergonomic reference pages at Cornell
Ergonomics in the workplace info, with links to associated info
Back Care and Lifting Safety
UC Davis lifting safety video "Protecting Your Back" (part 1) (part 2)
Fact sheet on how to lift safely from the National Safety Council
Back safety and pain care links from MedLine
Virginia Commonwealth University lifting techniques
If you have additional questions or need to schedule a workstation ergonomic evaluation, please call Brian MacDonald at 459-5430.