Ergonomics can be defined as the science of designing the job to fit the worker. Here at UNH there are many jobs that are conducted on a daily basis that can place us at risk of developing an injury related to ergonomics. This could include computer workstations, repetitive tasks and improper lifting and/or material handling.
Office Workstations can be hazardous to individuals if setup incorrectly. The following links can serve as a guide to self-check your personal workstation, to ensure you are not putting yourself at risk for injury.
- Ergonomic Chairs
- Ergonomic Desks
- Keyboard Ergonomics
- Mouse Ergonomics
- Workstation Monitors
- Ergonomic Fact Sheet
- OSHA Computer Workstations
- OSHA Ergonomics
- Ergonomic Workstation Self Evaluation Checklist
Working Remotely or at Home
Working at home or remotely can create some unique challenges when it comes to maintaining a good, neutral, ergonomic posture. The lack of a proper desk and chair, and/or the use of a laptop computer limits how we can make adjustments to reduce potential ergonomic risks. The main thing to remember is that when working at home or remotely you should try to set up your work area as close to your office environment as possible and apply the same ergonomic principles as you would while working on campus. Please refer to Ergonomic Tips for Working Remotely for additional information. Also, please review the additional information from our web site regarding monitors, keyboards, mouse use, and chairs to assist with getting your home/remote work area set up so you can maintain a good neutral ergonomic posture.
Sit-stand workstations allow users to alternate between sitting and standing positions throughout the work day. Not only does this provide individuals with movement breaks while completing job tasks, it also helps to reduce discomfort and fatigue that can be related to remaining in the same position for extended periods of time.
Back safety is essential when at work and at home. Bending, lifting, and carrying are repetitive tasks that can cause injury if not performed correctly. Individuals will want to avoid awkward postures to keep themselves safe during these movements. The following links will provide you with further information on how to prevent injury. If you continue to have questions about your back safety and job tasks, or would like a formal ergonomic assessment, please contact Brian Cournoyer.
Support from OEHS
The Office of Environmental Health and Safety can assist you with evaluating your work area and job tasks to identify those potential ergonomic risk factors and develop modifications to reduce the potential for an ergonomic related injury. In addition to workstation assessments, we are available to conduct training relative to back/lifting safety, computer workstations and injury/illness prevention.
Ergonomic assessments typically involve a 30-45 minute visit to the worksite, during which time adjustments to the work area may be made, and recommendations for future modifications provided. Upon completion of the assessment, OEHS will provide a report to the requesting employee and his/her supervisor consisting of observations during the assessment, adjustments that were made, and any additional recommendations.
It is the responsibility of the client to utilize provided resources and recommendations. Any equipment purchased as a result of the assessment is the responsibility of the employee’s department and should be discussed with their department supervisor.
Please note that ergonomic assessments for job tasks and workstations, is a free service offered by the Offiice of Environmental Health and Safety at the University of New Hampshire.
The Knowledge Base contains forms, instruction and training material, minutes, policies, tools and other resources to support your research efforts by topic area.
Brian Cournoyer, Occupational Health and Safety Manager
Phone: (603) 862-4761
Matthew Smith, Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator
Phone: (603) 862-4266