Proper Workstation Set Up

November 20, 2019

Clerical jobs may not be considered the "most hazardous" of professions, but they still come with their own set of health & safety risks. According to statistics from OSHA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 1/3 of all workplace injuries are the result of musculoskeletal disorders.

These MSD's include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, shoulder and back injuries. Many of these injuries are the result of manual materials handling but certainly, some are from improper workstation setup for office clerical and administrative workers.

By following a few basic safety tips on when setting up your workstation, employees can avoid long-term occupational diseases. We recommend printing out tips below and posting it them your desk to help reinforce these safety tips on a daily basis.

For a more detailed inforgraph and video on setting up your workstation, please view Working From Home: Best Safety Practices

When setting up your workstation, an employee should: 

  1. Place the monitors  directly in front of the employee, not off to the side.
    • Additionally, the top of the monitor should be at roughly forehead height to keep the screen at eye level or slightly lower.
  2. Shoulders should be relaxed with upper arms hanging normally at your side.
  3. Elbows should be bent between 90 and 120 degrees
  4. Torso should be vertical or slightly reclined with lumbar support.
  5. Thighs should be roughly parallel to the floor.
  6. Knees should be at the same height at the hips with feet below or slightly forward of the knees. Feet should also be flat on the floor or resting on a footstool.

Employers should reinforce the importance of workstation set up on a regular basis. Encouraging employees to take regular breaks and partake in daily stretching routines are also both great safety practices that help keep employees working and safe and prevent workers' compensation claims! 

OSHA has a very good resource for workstation setup that can be found here.