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computer workstations

The computer workstation is now a ubiquitous part of an American working day.  OSHA has provided workstation ergonomic eTool to ensure that workers using these stations can do so safely and effectively.

The eTool addresses a variety of safety related items, ranging from good working positions to specific risks related to individual components of the workstation.  For example, OSHA offers the following tips:


  • Put monitor directly in front of you and at least 20 inches away.

  • Place monitor so top line of screen is at or below eye level.

  • Place monitor perpendicular to window.


  • Put the keyboard directly in front of you.

  • Your shoulders should be relaxed and your elbows close to your body.

  • Your wrists should be straight and in-line with your forearms.


  • Keep the pointer/mouse close to the keyboard.

  • Alternate hands with which you operate the pointer/mouse.

  • Use keyboard short cuts to reduce extended use.


  • Desk surface should allow you to place the monitor directly in front of you, at least 20 inches away.

  • Avoid storing items, such as a CPU, under desks.

  • Desks should be able to accommodate a variety of working postures.


  • The backrest should conform to the natural curvature of your spine, and provide adequate lumbar support.

  • The seat should be comfortable and allow your feet to rest flat on the floor or footrest.

  • Armrests, if provided, should be soft, allow your shoulders to relax and your elbows to stay close to your body.

  • The chair should have a five-leg base with casters that allow easy movement along the floor.


  • Use a speaker phone or head set for long conversations.

  • Keep it close enough to avoid repeated reaching.

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