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Home Office Ergonomics Guidance

Hello all,

Not many people have a dedicated office space in their home complete with all the bells and whistles our work office includes. Most remote workers tend to use laptops because they are light and mobile but without aids, laptops can never be ergonomically correct. On its own, a laptop can have the keyboard so that shoulders are relaxed and elbows are at 90 degrees to avoid wrist and shoulder strain, yet the screen will be too low causing neck and upper back pain. You can raise the laptop placing the top of the screen at eye level, but then the keyboard is too high causing neck and shoulder pain. Poor postures are inherent with a laptop.

Here are some tips to help you avoid ergonomic hazards as a remote worker.

Dedicated Home Office

It is best to use a dedicated room with a desk, adjustable chair, a desktop computer or a laptop with a separate keyboard, mouse and/or monitor if you have one. Tools added to laptops will correct ergonomics and save your body with improved posture. Awkward postures are a big factor leading to back pain when seated too long. Also, protection from screen glare is one step to avoid eye strain. Place any screen at 90 degrees to the light source.

The Human Factor
The key to injury prevention in all situations is the human factor. Remote workers should have a basic knowledge of common musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Remote workers need to move, stretch, and be in the best postures to avoid undue stresses to the body. Static postures, even if ergonomically correct will eventually lead to MSDs. Pay attention to your work space, take breaks, and keeping moving.

Below the Safety Department has included a few helpful links to assist you with setting up your ergonomic home office.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/office-ergonomics/art-20046169

https://telecommuterguide.com/ergonomics-for-remote-workers/

The training team will be registering all office type employees for an online vivid training to aid you in the identification of musculoskeletal disorders and proper office set up. If you still have questions after reviewing the training and links above, please reach out to one of your safety coordinators for additional support.

Thank you all, please stay safe.

Your Grant PUD Safety Department

Craig Bressan

Senior Manager Safety & Industrial Training