UNSW SCHOOL OF PHYSICS OHS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. Ergonomics Principles and Guidelines . For Area OHS Supervisors. Based on UNSW Ergonomics Principles and Guidelines. WHAT IS ERGONOMICS?. ERGONOMICS is the scientific study of human performance at work. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?.
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ERGONOMICS is the scientific study of human performance at work
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Application of ergonomics principles to work practices allows prevention and control musculoskeletal injuries arising from repetitive or forceful movement or/and maintaining awkward or constrained postures
Injuries: sprains, strains, tears, degeneration
Symptoms: discomfort, pain, muscle fatigue, swelling, stiffness, inflammation, numbness, tingling, burning sensation, heaviness, weakness or clumsiness in hands
Disorders: Repetitive strain injury, Occupational overuse syndrome, Tendonitis, Carpal tunnel syndrome, Degenerative disc disease, etc
If possible, the job should be designed to allow rotation of work and inclusion of task not involving repetitive and dynamic muscle movement.
Work with Computers: Keyboarding
“A safe working level” of 4 hours of intensive keyboard work per day (not including breaks) should not be exceeded
Where the job does not provide adequate breaks through task variety, it is recommended that short frequent breaks should be taken during periods of intensive computer use, i.e. 2-3 minutes every 20-30 minutes. These breaks should include whole body movement. For example, fatigue in the back is relived by standing up and walking around
It is recommended that the screen is located
To minimise fatigue when using the mouse:
Consider the following when trying to address the ergonomic issues
Suitable light levels based on Australian Standard AS 1680 – 1990 Interior Lighting:
General background 200 Lux
Routine office work (typing, filing) 400 Lux
Work with poor contrast (proof reading) 600Lux
Overhead lighting should be fitted with glare reducing diffusers and light should fall from the side rather than from the front to avoid reflection
Windows should be on the side of the user if possible, not directly behind or in front of the screen
Air movement of less than 0.1 meter per second can lead to stuffy rooms whereas air movement of more than 0.2 meters per second causes droughts to be felt.
Australian Standard AS 1668.2 – 1991 Mechanical ventilation for acceptable indoor-air quality sets the minimum rate of 10 liters per second per person for general office space or 10 liters per second for every 10 square meters of floor space