What is ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the science of adapting the work environment to fit the employee. It focuses on designing workstations, tools and tasks for safety, efficiency and comfort. Efficient ergonomic designs and work practices reduce occupational injuries, discomfort, fatigue, and improve productivity and employee job satisfaction.
UC Merced ergonomic program:
Ergo-CAT: is an online ergonomic assessment/training tool designed to help reduce the risk that you develop any repetitive motion injuries while using your computer. In August of 2007, the University of California contracted with Remedy Interactive (RI) to implement RI’s interactive online injury prevention program throughout the UC system. Risk Services in the Office of the President and the UC Merced Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) have implemented this program here as Ergonomic Computer Assisted Training, or Ergo-CAT. The goal of Ergo-CAT is to prevent repetitive motion injuries associated with ergonomic risks of computer usage and, thus, conserve human and fiscal resources.
Ergonomic Evaluation: Ergo-CAT is a great first step at improving the ergonomics of your computer work station but additional help may be necessary. If you are still experiencing frequent discomfort or wish assistance in making changes based on the Ergo-CAT recommendations, then contact EH&S to request a follow-up, desk side ergonomic evaluation. The Ergo-CAT assessments coupled with a desk-side evaluation are very effective at identifying high risk factors and corresponding corrective actions. To request an evaluation email: email@example.com
Ergo Equipment Lending Program: EH&S maintains a library of ergonomically designed computer equipment that employees can check out and use at their work station on a trial basis. Examples include keyboards, mouse/track balls, chairs, footrests, etc. With guidance from EH&S, employees can determine which ergonomically designed devices will work best for themselves. This allows employees to make better informed decisions when purchasing ergonomic computer equipment and, thus, increase their comfort level and reduce the risk of repetitive motion injuries. Click: Ergo Equipment List to see what specific equipment is in the lending program. Send an email to EH&S, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call either extension 4234 or 4751 to make arrangements to check out a piece of equipment.
Keyboard Shortcuts: Keyboard shortcuts in lieu of mousing can be faster, more efficient and less stressful on the hand and wrist. Keyboard Shortcuts - PC, Keyboard Shortcuts - Mac
CtrlWORK: CtrlWORK is a rest break reminder program that helps you work comfortable and efficiently with you computer – thus reducing your risk of repetitive motion injuries associated with prolonged computer work.
Click here to learn more
BSAS Ergo Equipment Funding Program: The UC Be Smart About Safety (BSAS) program provides funds for projects which reduce the risk of employee injury. EH&S manages a portion of BSAS funds which are specifically set aside to help defray the cost of ergonomic equipment purchases. For more details contact EH&S at email@example.com.
BackSafe®: This back injury prevention training course identifies the major causes of back injuries, pre-work stretching exercises to reduce stress, and effective injury prevention lifting techniques. It involves hands-on training in an interactive format.
SittingSafe®: This injury prevention training course focuses on reducing repetitive motion stresses common to prolonged computer work. Stretching exercises, chair and keyboard adjustment, plus other tips are presented in a hands-on interactive format.
Laboratory ergonomics (in development): Many tasks performed in research laboraotires place workers at risk of muscle and tendon strains. Activities such as using pipettes, microscopes, microtomes and centrifuges can put stress on your body. EH&S currently is implementing an ergonomic pipette lending program so that lab researchers can try differently designed pipettes. EH&S will be expanding this program to address a breadth of laboratory ergonomic issues.