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Many people use laptop computers as their primary computer. Because the keyboard and monitor is a contained unit, they cannot be adjusted for comfort and the keys and monitors are generally smaller than those found on a traditional desktop computer. In order to prevent potential injuries from long-term or extensive use, employees should take extra precautions.
Consider using the following at work and at home:
There are three steps to ESD’s Ergonomics Program; (1) Education; (2) Evaluation; (3) Implementation:
- Education: EH&S offers several ergonomic education courses, some of which are required or recommended based upon your responses to your JHA.
- Evaluation: All ESD employees should have an ergonomic evaluation of their workstation(s). You should also request an evaluation at the earliest sign of physical discomfort or when you move to a new workstation, change your furniture, use a laptop computer or have any other concern regarding your workstation. Computer stations in labs that are used for more than monitoring and transfer of data should also be ergonomically designed and evaluated (request an ergonomic evaluation or contact your ESD Safety Coordinator). Employees and supervisors- check the date of your last ergo evaluation or for your employees. People doing extensive computer work (graphics, spreadsheets, etc.) should have annual evaluations; other employees, every 2 years.
- Implementation: It is up to the employee and their supervisor to follow-through with the recommendations and corrective actions resulting from the ergo evaluation. The evaluator may recommend furniture, or other equipment, which the employee and supervisor must select and purchase as necessary through the normal ESD purchasing channels. After new furniture is installed, employee should request a follow-up evaluation to ensure proper adjustment.
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If you have an employee who is paid by LBNL, and works on the UC Campus, there are two options for getting a routine ergo evaluation of their workstation.
If you would like to have an LBNL ergo evaluator (Herb Toor for ESD) do the evaluation, then we need to contact the ergonomist at the Tang Center, Barbara Pottgen to get her permission.
- If you would like to use the UC ergo program, each campus department is supposed to have ergo evaluators who provide this service. You can call 642-8410 for more information or for the name of your computer workstation evaluator.
If the employee is experiencing discomfort, then after notifying you, they should schedule an appointment with the Occupational Health Clinic at University Health Services, Tang Center, by calling 642-6891.
Berkeley's on-site Occupational Health Clinic specializes in the treatment of work-related health problems, including repetitive motion and musculoskeletal injuries.
Treatment may include physical therapy and a worksite evaluation, if necessary. Services are provided at no cost to you or your department.