Region 9 News Release: USDL-47
April 20, 1999
Contact: Susan Hall Fleming
PHONE : 202-693-1999
Released in San Francisco by Deanne Amaden at (415) 975-4741
LABOR DEPARTMENT OFFERS BOSSES GIFT IDEAS FOR SECRETARY'S DAY
What do secretaries really need for Secretary's Day? How about a safe work environment? The Labor Department recommends bosses give their secretaries a special gift on April 21--an ergonomic review of their work stations.
In its publication, "Memo to the Boss," the Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers tips for setting up work stations to fit workers. It suggests ways identified by OSHA to reduce the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders associated with awkward postures and repetitive motion.
"Many employers provide flexible work stations for their secretaries--with well-designed chairs, adjustable keyboards and movable computer monitors," said Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman. "All that's needed is a boss who cares enough to take the time to help. A few minutes can lower a secretary's risk of injury and at the same time boost productivity. That could make a world of difference to the worker and ultimately to the boss as well."
Good office design includes an adjustable chair, adjustable working surfaces, a properly positioned computer and document holder and good lighting to minimize glare. To prevent injury and enhance productivity, secretaries who spend most of their time at the computer also need to take frequent "micro breaks" to rest eyes, shift positions, stretch and move around the office. Standing while talking on the phone or performing other tasks also can be beneficial.
Simple stretching exercises can help relieve stress and stiffness in arms, shoulder, neck and back. Organizing a work area so that materials used frequently are right at hand reduces awkward reaches. Keeping the area underneath the desk free from clutter enables secretaries to stretch their legs and shift position easily.
"Memo to the Boss" is also available on the ergonomics page on OSHA's Internet site at http://www.osha.gov. In addition, single copies can be obtained from OSHA Publications, telephone 202-693-1888.
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The text of this news release is on the Internet World Wide Web at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this news release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request.