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Hazards and Solutions

Many who use a computer at work or home may be unaware of workstation situations that can increase their risk of development of injury. The following references aid in recognizing potential hazards associated at computer workstations and give possible solutions to address those hazards.

Hazard Recognition
  • Computer Workstations. OSHA eTool. Includes new material developed by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Also, incorporates a checklist to assist the computer user with evaluation of their workstation and with purchasing of new equipment.
  • A Survival Guide to Computer Workstations (PDF). Occupational Health, Safety, and Education (OHSE), Ohio State University. Presents hazard and radiation information.
  • NIOSH Publications on Video Display Terminals. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 99-135, (1999, September). Provides a compendium of NIOSH publications and reports on video display terminals (VDTs).
Possible Solutions
  • Office Ergonomics Guide. Safety Office, University of Waterloo.
  • OSH Answers: Office Ergonomics. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). Provides a searchable database for health and safety information on a variety of topics in an office workstation. Provides navigational links on specific topics, such as "positioning the monitor" or "wrist rests".
  • Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Disorders - Computer Keyboards & Video Display Terminals. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Workplace Safety and Health Topic.
  • Evaluating your computer workstation: How to make it work for you (PDF). Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (OR-OSHA). Identifies health considerations for video display terminals (VDTs) and workstation use, how to evaluate a workstation, and various measures that can be taken to reduce associated worker health problems.
  • Study Finds Strategic Rest Breaks Reduce VDT Discomforts Without Impairing Productivity. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Update, (2000, May 22). Summarizes a report showing that short, strategically spaced rest breaks can reduce eyestrain and musculoskeletal discomforts for video display terminal operators without decreasing productivity.
  • Alternative Keyboards. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 97-148, (1997, January). Explains the differences between alternative and regular keyboards, and provides information on whether alternative keyboards prevent injuries.

*Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.

All other documents, that are not PDF materials or formatted for the web, are available as Microsoft Office® formats and videos and are noted accordingly. If additional assistance is needed with reading, reviewing or accessing these documents or any figures and illustrations, please also contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300.

**eBooks - EPUB is the most common format for e-Books. If you use a Sony Reader, a Nook, or an iPad you can download the EPUB file format. If you use a Kindle, you can download the MOBI file format.

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