Faculty, staff and students can prevent ergonomic related injuries by following best practices for working at desks, working in laboratories and for lifting and handling materials. Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) offers self-help resources, customized departmental training, and both individual and departmental level consultations to decrease discomfort/injury.
Office Based/Computer ergonomics:
- Self-help Resources
- Office based ergonomics (20 minutes). Please view in presentation mode with enabled content
- Sit to Stand Office Based best practice (10 minutes). Please view in presentation mode with enabled content.
- Troubleshooting Computer Based Ergonomic-Related Discomfort
- Working From Home. EHS can conduct home office consultations via Zoom which take 30 minutes. Additional self-help resources are also available below.
- Working from Home? How to reduce ergonomic discomfort (3 minutes). Please view in presentation mode with enabled content as there is a YouTube video on slide 5).
- Strategic Vendors offering employee discount pricing for work from home offices
- University of Michigan Property Disposition
- Seating Evaluations
- EHS offers employees who have supervisory/management authorization the ability to schedule a custom seating evaluation. During this visit, the employee sits in a variety of chairs which are adjusted (by the ergonomic professional) for fit and comfort. The selected chair is then sent to the employee’s work location for a weeklong trial. Once the loan period is over, the loaner chair returns to EHS and a recommendation for purchase is made. Please note that EHS has no funding to assist with the purchase of new chairs.
- Request Assistance
EHS offers customized group training for your department’s needs. This includes office/computer based ergonomics, work from home office ergonomics, laboratory ergonomics, material handling ergonomics and other topics as desired. This training is available in person or virtually.
EHS ergonomics assists departments reduce risk of injury. These interventions are often initiated by reported injuries or injury trends within the department. For example, if an employee/s reports injury or discomfort in a specific area of the body or if a particular work task results in employee reports of discomfort/injury, EHS ergonomics can assess and provide recommendations to reduce the risk.
- Several employees report discomfort moving storage boxes from one location to another
- A heavy piece of equipment needs to be moved up/downstairs
- Multiple reports of injuries have been reported putting trash into dumpsters
Unsure of what you need? Email EHSErgonomics@umich.edu
Poor posture when using pipettes, microscopes and other laboratory equipment can cause employees to feel discomfort. Since laboratory space is typically used by a variety of employees, designing a space that works best for everyone is what ergonomics does.
Self Help Resources
Lifting and Material Handling Ergonomics
Back injuries are closely associated with lifting heavy materials. Eighty (80) percent of people will experience low back discomfort significant enough to visit their doctor sometime during their career. Although learning how to lift heavy items while reducing your risk of injury is helpful, it is always better to engineer out risks associated with heavy lifting. This means using carts and lifts instead of your body to handle heavy loads. Ergonomics can help identify engineering solutions to reduce lifting materials.
Lifting and Material Handling Ergonomics Training
EHS offers ergonomic presentations to U-M faculty and staff free of charge. Presentations are customized to your needs but address the following issues:
- Ergonomic risk factors during lifting and handling
- Why the back gets injured
- Simple adjustments to reduce risks and associated discomfort