The purpose of the UC Irvine
Ergonomic Program is to prevent the pain and suffering, as well
as costs to the University, associated with ergonomic related injuries.
- Program Description
- Specific Program Components
- Reporting Requirements
- Information and External
Assessment and Training Requirements
The purpose of the UC Irvine Ergonomic Program is to
prevent the pain and suffering, as well as costs to the University, associated
with ergonomic related injuries. This is done through a combination of
workplace training, evaluation of workstations and work practices, and
the implementation of ergonomic control strategies.
The Ergonomics Program encompasses all UC Irvine employees
whose job functions have the potential for work related injuries and disorders.
Certain aspects of our job tasks and work environments contain risk factors
that may contribute to injury or disability. Through proper ergonomic
assessment, potential injuries and disorders may be reduced, prevented
and even eliminated.
The table below illustrates the relationship between
work settings, job tasks, risk factors and body areas that may be affected.
Affected Body Areas
|Office & Computer
||Word Processing (typing), Data Entry and Web surfing (mouse use)
||Frequency, Duration, Force
||Hands, wrists, arms, neck, shoulders
||Pipette use, microscope use
||Posture, Frequency, Duration
||Hands, arms, neck, back, legs
|Manual Material and Handling
||Carrying and transporting heavy materials
||Posture, Heavy exertion, Force
||Back, arms, shoulders, legs
3.1 Ergonomics: The study of the relationship between
people, their work and their physical work environment. The major goal
of ergonomics is to fit the job to the individual and promote healthy
and safe work practices.
3.2 Risk Factors: Poor workplace designs can present
stressors called risk factors. These risk factors may include:·
Repetition – the number of motions or movements that are performed per
cycle or per shift.· Force – the power of the muscles used to
produce motion in order to perform necessary activities such as lifting,
grasping, pinching, pushing, etc.· Extreme Postures – when muscles
are required to work at a level near or at their maximum capacity.
3.3 Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD): An injury or illness
of the soft tissues of the upper extremity, shoulders and neck, lower
back, and lower extremity that is primarily caused or exacerbated by
workplace risk factors, such as sustained and repeated exertions or
awkward postures and manipulations. (Examples include: tendonitis, epicondylitis,
rotator cuff syndrome, low-back pain.)
3.4 Repetitive Motion Injury (RMI): Also known as repetitive
stress injuries, an RMI is a type of stress injury that results from
repetitive motions such as frequent bending or sustained awkward positioning
performed over extended periods of time without allowing for sufficient
rest. Examples of RMI are medical conditions resulting from repeated
use of a body part.
4.1 Employees: It is the responsibility of UC Irvine employees
to access proper ergonomics training to improve their work practices
4.2 Work Unit Specific Supervisor/ Department: It is the responsibility
of each department head and/or supervisor to support or recommend proper
training for ergonomics for staff. Additionally, they are responsible
for implementation of EH&S ergonomic recommendations if necessary.
4.3 Environmental Health and Safety: It is the responsibility
of EH&S to evaluate and monitor the ergonomics program including
assessing the nature and extent of ergonomics hazards, recommending
ways of minimizing or controlling these hazards, and supporting the
University in consultation and direction regarding ergonomics.
Specific Program Components
5.1 Ergonomic Self-Evaluation
- Access the Ergonomics: Computer and Office on-line training ,
a detailed online program where employees may complete a self-assessment to identify potential risk factors. Upon completion, both the employee
and supervisor receive a written report, which includes personalized
recommendations to increase the employee's comfort and reduce the
risk of injury while working at the computer workstation.
5.2 On-site Ergonomic Evaluation
- Employees, Supervisors, or Department Heads may request an ergonomic
assessment of work area(s) or work process on the "HOW TO: Request an Ergonomic Evaluation or Training" website.
- EH&S staff will conduct an ergonomic evaluation based on observations
- Posture and body mechanics
- Equipment used (mouse, keyboard, pipettes, microscope,
- Work environment including workspace, access, lighting
- Rate and repetition of tasks or job processes
- Other employee practices that may be a contributing factor (behaviorial habits)
- EH&S will provide written documentation for eliminating or
reducing the identified ergonomic risk factors to the employees and
their supervisor. There are two general approaches to controlling
- Engineering Controls - Changes are made to the workstations,
tools, and/or machinery that alter the physical composition
of area or process.
- Administrative or Work Practice Controls - Changes are
made to regulate exposure without making physical changes
to the area or process; for example, taking frequent breaks
and job rotations.
- Timely implementation of ergonomic recommendation help alleviate issues and reduce risks in the workplace.
- If an employee experiences any signs or symptoms of musculoskeletal
disorders, the employee is to report their symptoms to their supervisor.
- Employees may also wish to consult their personal physicians to rule
out any other underlying causes.
Information and External References
Title 8 §5110, Repetitive Motion Injuries
Competency Assessment and Training Requirements
- EH&S offers a monthly training course on Office & Computer
Ergonomics where the definition and history of ergonomics, different
types of risk factors, and methods of minimizing risks using engineering
and work practice controls are discussed. Visit the UC Learning Center at www.uclc.uci.edu to read the class overviews and sign up for a class.
Initiator: Belinda Manalac