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Computer Workstations eTool

Checklists Evaluation

This checklist can help you create a safe and comfortable computer workstation. You can also use it in conjunction with the purchasing guide checklist. A "no" response indicates that a problem may exist. Refer to the appropriate section of the eTool for assistance and ideas about how to analyze and control the problem.

WORK STATIONS - Arrange and adjust the computer workstation to promote neutral postures.

Y

N

1. Head and neck are balanced and in-line with torso (ears directly above the shoulders not bent forward or back). If "no" refer to Monitors, Chairs and Work Surfaces.
2. Head, neck, and trunk facing forward (not twisted to view monitor/work/documents). If "no" refer to Monitors or Chairs.
3. Torso is vertical to slightly reclined (see recommendations in Good Working Postures). If "no" refer to Chairs or Monitors.
4. Back is fully supported by chair lumbar support. If "no" refer to Seating.
5. Shoulders are relaxed (not elevated). Upper arms Shoulders are relaxed (not elevated). Upper arms are in-line with torso, (not elevated or stretched forward unless supported by work surface). If "no" refer to Chairs.
6. Elbows are close to the body (not extended forward or outward unless supported by work surface or chair armrests). If "no" refer to Chairs, Work Surfaces, Keyboards, and Pointers.
7. Forearms are approximately parallel to the floor and about 90 to 100 degrees to the upper arm. If "no" refer to Chairs, Keyboards, Pointers.
8. Wrists and hands are straight in alignment to the forearm (not bent up/down or sideways). If "no" refer to Keyboards, or Pointers
9. Thighs are approximately parallel to the floor (and lower legs are approximately perpendicular to floor (thighs may be slightly elevated above knees see recommendations in Good Working Posture for declined seated postures). If "no" refer to Chairs or Work Surfaces.
10. There should be sufficient room under the work surface so thighs have clearance space between the top of the thighs and the computer table/keyboard platform (thighs are not trapped).
11. Legs and feet have sufficient forward clearance under the work surface so the user is able to get close to the keyboard/input device.
12. Feet rest flat on the floor or are supported by a stable footrest if the work surface cannot be adjusted. If "no" refer to Chairs, Work Surfaces.
13. Sharp or square edges that contact hands, wrists, or forearms are padded or rounded. If "no" refer to Work Surfaces.
SEATING - Consider these points when evaluating the chair.

Y

N

1. Backrest has height adjustability so support is provided for the lower back (lumbar area).
2. Chair has a sturdy 5 leg base.
3. Seat width and depth should accommodate the specific user (seat pan should be wide enough for ease of egress and deep enough to support the entire thigh but not so deep that user cannot utilize lumbar support.)
4. Seat front does not press against the back of users knees and lower legs (seat pan not too long). Thighs do not significantly hang off the front edge of the seat. (Seat pan too short).
5. Seat is cushioned and rounded with a "waterfall" front (no sharp edge).
6. Seat height is adjustable and allows for proper alignment with the work surface.
7. Armrests, if used, should be adjustable (both up and down and in and out) and support both forearms while user performs computer tasks. They should not interfere with movement or positioning of the chair under the work surface.
8. Head Rest (if provided) is adjustable and does not push the head forward past neutral.
9. Casters are appropriate for the floor surface. (They move easily on carpet of other soft surfaces but do not move so easily on tile or hard surfaces that the chair "scoots" away during sitting down or getting up from chair).
10. Adjustments are straight forward and easy to perform while seated in the chair.
"No" answers to any of these questions should prompt a review of Chairs.
KEYBOARD/INPUT DEVICE - Consider these points when evaluating the keyboard or pointing device (mouse, trackball, touch pen, roller mouse, joy stick, etc.).

Y

N

1. Keyboard/input device platform(s) is stable and large enough to hold a keyboard and an input device.
2. Keyboard/input device platform(s) can be adjusted so the hands are positioned over the keyboard with the elbows near the torso at an angle of 90 to 100 degrees. (See suggestions in Good Working Postures).
3. Keyboard can be adjusted to a horizontal or slightly negative slope.
4. Input device (mouse or trackball) is located right next to the keyboard so it can be operated without reaching.
5. Input device is easy to activate and the shape/size fits hand (not too big/small). It may be desirable to have an input device that can be used with either hand to provide periods of working rest.
6. Input device is located as close to the midline of the body as possible and at the same level as the keyboard.
7. If a touchscreen device is used for data input, a detached keyboard and mouse are available if duration of use is more than 2 hours per day or 30 minutes at a time.
8. There are no sharp or hard edges that contact the wrists and hands.
"No" answers to any of these questions should prompt a review of Keyboards,Pointers,or Wrist Rests.
MONITOR – Consider these points when evaluating the monitor and its placement.

Y

N

1. The monitor has sufficient adjustability so the top of the screen is at or below eye level so the user can read it without bending their head or neck down/back.
2. Adjustability is sufficient so users with bifocals/trifocals can read the screen without bending the head or neck backward.
3. There is sufficient room so the monitor can be placed at a distance which allows the user to read the screen without leaning head, neck or trunk forward/backward. (Generally, about 18 to 20 inches or arm length)
4. Monitor position is directly in front of the user so they do not have to twist head or neck.
5. If multiple monitors are used, the position of the primary monitor is directly in front of the user and the other monitors are directly beside it. If time is split evenly between monitors, they are next to each other within a comfortable viewing angle with minimal head movement.
6. Glare (from windows, lights) is not reflected on screen causing the user to squint or assume awkward postures to clearly see information on the screen.
7. Monitor brightness and contrast is adjusted for comfort.
"No"answers to any of these questions should prompt a review of Monitors or Lighting/Glare.
MOBILE DEVICES

Y

N

1. If laptops are used as a primary computer they are set up using the same ergonomic principles as desktop computers. A separate keyboard and input device are provided.
2. If laptops are used outside the office, (e.g. on a plane, in a hotel) user postures should be changed regularly to improve neck and wrist posture and duration of time on laptop should be minimized.
3. Laptops used in vehicles are set up at a comfortable angle and infrequent use. The user should take frequent breaks from computer tasks.
4. A separate keyboard and stylus are available when tablets are used for typing performed for extended periods of time.
5. Tablets and smartphones should be used with the shoulders relaxed, arms positioned near the torso, and neck in a neutral posture without excessive neck bending to view the screen.
ACCESSORIES

Y

N

1. Document holder, if provided, is stable and large enough to hold documents (paper, binders, or books).
2. Document holder, if provided, is placed at about the same height and distance as the monitor screen.
3. Wrist/palm rest, if provided, is padded and free of sharp or square edges that contact the wrists.
4. Wrist/palm rest, if provided, allows user you to keep your forearms, wrists, and hands straight and in-line when using the keyboard/input device. Height matches the front edge of the keyboard.
5. Telephone is positioned close to the work to avoid excessive reaches. Generally, within 18 to 20 inches.
6. Telephone can be used with head upright (not bent) and shoulders relaxed. If phone and computer are used at the same time, this may require the use of a headset.
7. Headset, if used, has a comfortable fit. Not too tight, or so loose that if will not maintain its position on the users head.
8. Footrest is provided if the feet are not flat on the floor because the keyboard and monitor do not have sufficient adjustability. If used the footrest should be angled and support both feet.
"No" answers to any of these questions should prompt a review of Work Surfaces, Document Holders, Wrist Rests or Telephones.
GENERAL CONCEPTS

Y

N

1. Workstation and equipment have sufficient adjustability so users are in a safe/supportive working posture and can easily make occasional changes in posture while performing computer tasks.
2. Computer workstation, components and accessories are maintained in serviceable condition and function properly.
3. Items that must be accessed frequently are within easy reach, generally with the elbows close the body. Items used occasionally can be at nearly full arm reach.
4. Computer tasks are organized in a way that allows users to vary keyboard tasks with other work activities, or provide an opportunity for micro-breaks or recovery pauses while at the computer workstation.
5. User has the ability to alternate between sitting and standing postures or activities to provide opportunities for movement and variability throughout the shift. Prolonged sitting or standing should be avoided.
6. Lighting levels are adjustable for differing tasks. Brighter task lights should be provided for paperwork and lower lighting should be used for general computer work.
"No" answers to any of these questions should prompt a review of Chairs, Work Surfaces, or Work Processes.
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