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Computer Workstations eTool

Millions of people work with computers every day. This eTool* illustrates simple, inexpensive principles that will help you create a safe and comfortable computer workstation. There is no single "correct" posture or arrangement of components that will fit everyone. However, there are basic design goals, some of which are shown in the accompanying figure, to consider when setting up a computer workstation or performing computer-related tasks.

Consider your workstation as you read through each section and see if you can identify areas for improvement in posture, component placement, or work environment. This eTool provides suggestions to minimize or eliminate identified problems, and allows you to create your own "custom-fit" computer workstation.

How do I find out about employer responsibilities and worker rights?

Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury). For more information see www.whistleblowers.gov or Workers' rights under the OSH Act.

OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, go to OSHA's Regional & Area Offices webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

Small businesses may contact OSHA's free on-site consultation services funded by OSHA to help determine whether there are hazards at their worksites. To contact free consultation services, go to OSHA's On-site Consultation webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.

Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards. Workers can file a complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), online via eCompliant Form, or by printing the complaint form and mailing or faxing it to the local OSHA area office. Complaints that are signed by a worker are more likely to result in an inspection.

If you think your job is unsafe or if you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). Your contact will be kept confidential. We can help. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page.

Checklists
Use a Checklist!

Use the evaluation checklist to analyze existing workstations. Use the purchasing guide checklist to evaluate new purchases.

Quick Tips

Look for quick tip boxes to provide basic solutions for common hazards. A more in-depth look at computer workstation hazards and solutions can be found further down the page of each section.

*eTools are "stand-alone," interactive, highly illustrated web-based training tools on occupational safety and health topics. Some use expert system modules, which enable the user to answer questions, and receive reliable advice on how OSHA regulations apply to their work site. Some provide guidance information for developing a comprehensive safety and health program and include other recommended practices that often go beyond specific OSHA mandates. As indicated in the disclaimer, eTools do not create new OSHA requirements.

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