ERGONOMICS IN THE UNIVERSITY WORKPLACE
Commencement Date: 31/10/2007
The provisions of this policy and procedure are applied to all University staff and their
‘workplace’ is defined as any location where an employee works or is
likely to be in the course of their work and includes vehicles,
aircraft, ships and all fieldwork
‘manual handling means any activity requiring the use of force, such as lifting,
carrying, pushing and pulling.
‘hazard’ in relation to a person, means anything that may result in
injury to the person, or harm to the health of the person
‘risk’ in relation to any injury or harm, means the probability of
that injury or harm occurring
‘ergonomic’ describes any item of furniture or equipment designed to be
compatible with the limitations and capabilities of workers
and their working environment
3. Minimum Standards
These minimum standards are compulsory for University staff to ensure safety is maintained and
legislative requirements are met. Section 4 shall be treated as a guide to assist with meeting
3.1 Manual handling tasks in all workplaces will have any associated hazards and
3.2 Practicable control measures will be applied to any identified manual handling
hazards and risks.
3.3 Each area will provide a budget for the maintenance of the working environment
and appropriate equipment provision to enable manual handling tasks to be
carried out safely.
3.4 All staff undertaking manual handling tasks will be provided with information
and training relevant to the risk.
3.5 All staff will be provided with ergonomic office furniture in their workplace.
3.6 All staff will have available to them instruction as to the ergonomic set up of
4.1 General Provisions
Provision Responsibility ? The University maintains responsibility for ensuring that staff are provided with a safe working All Managers
Table 4.1 Guidelines for managers and staff for the implementation of the ‘minimum standards’
Minimum Standard Managers Staff 3.1 Manual handling tasks in all ? Report any known hazards to the manager/supervisor ? Ensure all manual handling hazards and risks are
identified (the Manual Handling Checklist, in the Making workplaces will have any and/or the area’s Safety and Health representative,
the Workplace Safe document, will assist in measuring associated hazards and risks and/or EduSafe. the risk). Managers can consider also staff report, identified.
Safety and health representative report and past injury records when identifying manual handling hazards and
3.2 3.2 Practicable control ? Ensure appropriate controls are applied to manual handling ? Comply with any instruction for safe working measures will be applied hazards and risks. Ideas for controls can be accessed via the procedures. to any identified manual Manual Handling Checklist in the Making the Workplace Safe handling hazards and document, via the area’s Safety and Health representative,
risks. and/or by contacting EduSafe.
3.3 Each area will provide a ? Managers are responsible for the provision and maintenance of Nil budget for the maintenance of the a safe working environment and equipment in their respective
working environment and areas and must ensure this through their cost centre. Refer to
appropriate equipment provision Schedule 1 (the Staff Office Ergonomic Checklist) for a guide to
to enable manual handling tasks office furniture/equipment that may be required, and consider
to be carried out safely. specific manual handling risks for relevant manual handling
3.4 All staff undertaking manual ? Ensure staff are provided with information and training for all ? Attend manual handling training sessions arranged by handling tasks will be provided manual handling tasks, relevant to the risk, on induction and for managers. with information and training any changes to duties/procedures. Assistance with training can ? Comply with any instruction for safe working procedures.
relevant to the risk. be arranged by contacting EduSafe.
3.5 All staff will be provided with ? Managers are responsible for the provision of ergonomic office ? Report any specific furniture/equipment ergonomic office furniture in their furniture and equipment for all staff, and must ensure this requirements/issues to their manager/supervisor and/or workplace. through their cost centre. For advice as to what equipment may their area’s Safety and Health representative, or by
be needed beyond a standard desk and ergonomic chair, refer contacting EduSafe. to the Office Safety Checklist in the Making the Workplace Safe
document and/or contact EduSafe.
3.6 All staff will have available to ? Managers are responsible for ensuring staff are provided with ? Comply with any instruction for safe working procedures.
them instruction as to the instruction as to the ergonomic set up of their office, on ? Report any symptoms at work to the manager. Refer to ergonomic set up of office induction, following office relocation/refurbishment, and on the Injury Management policy for guidelines for reporting furniture. reporting of any symptoms. Assistance with ergonomic set up injuries/illnesses.
instruction can be arranged by referring staff to Schedule 1 (the
Staff Office Ergonomic checklist) and/or by contacting EduSafe.
Refer also to the Injury Management policy for guidelines for
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Revision Approved/ Date Committee/ Resolution Document Ref. No. Rescinded Board Number Reference
STAFF OFFICE ERGONOMIC SET UP CHECKLIST
? There is adequate leg space to allow free movement under the workstation
(remove boxes or obstacles from under the desk).
? The computer monitor and keyboard are positioned directly in front of the office
chair and the screen is not directly in front of or behind a window, or is suitably
managed, such as by the use of blinds/window coverings.
? The chair and backrest must be height adjustable and have a 5 star castor base.
? Adjust the backrest height so the bulge of the cushion sits in the small of the back
(around belt height).
? Adjust the chair height so the forearms are parallel to the floor when the hands are
on the keyboard (bent elbows should be slightly above desk height).
? Thighs should be parallel to the floor – a height adjustable footrest may be
required when the chair is raised to the correct height for the keyboard.
? If the seat slopes downward unnaturally, the seat angle may need to be adjusted so
the seat is parallel with the floor.
? If armrests prevent you from getting close to the desk, they may need removal.
3. Screen, keyboard and mouse
? The screen is positioned at comfortable reading distance (about arm’s length)
? The top of the writing on the screen is at eye level or slightly lower.
? The screen is not tilted so much that it produces glare.
? The keyboard is in front of the screen.
? The mouse is close the keyboard and can be used with the elbow bent and forearm
? Consult with EduSafe for advice re alternatives to the standard mouse and
4. Other equipment
? If there is a regular requirement to copy from/refer to hard copies, consider the
purchase of a document holder that can be positioned between the keyboard and
? If there is a regular requirement to access information/take notes whilst on the
telephone, consider the trial of a telephone headset.
? Consider the need for window coverings if glare is present.
Contact your Safety and Health representative and/or EduSafe for assistance with set
up, if required.
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