This checklist can help identify risk factors that can contribute to work-related musculoskeletal problems. Contact your supervisor to obtain help or assistance with issues that are identified.
- Is the height of your bench appropriate for work tasks? Precision work=above elbow height; light work=just below elbow height; heavy work=-6 inches below elbow height).
- Do you wear supportive shoes and have a floor mat for standing tasks?
- Can you prop up a foot on a stool or ledge when standing in one spot?
- Do you work at a bench cut-out?
- Does the bench have rounded or padded edges?
- Does your chair support your back while you work?
- Does the seat and seatback tilt forward?
- Are your feet on the floor, a foot-ring or a footrest?
- If you have armrests, can they be adjusted to support your arms when working?
- Can you view the eyepiece while sitting in an upright position?
- Is the microscope pulled out to the edge of the workbench?
- Are your arms supported and relaxed when using the microscope?
- Are electronic, light-touch, or latch mode pipettes available for intensive pipetting?
- Is the pipette designed for multiple finger use (instead of only the thumb)?
- Are trays, beakers and supplies placed within easy reach?
- Are your wrists in a straight or neutral position when working?
Biological Safety Cabinets:
- Are your arms relaxed when working in the fumehood?
- Are work supplies within easy reach in the cabinet?
- Are vials, tubes and receptacles as low profile as possible?
- Can you see your work without tilting your head and neck?
- Can you alternate sitting and standing while working?
- Can you operate your microtome with your hand in a pistol grip position?
- Do you alternate fingers when using pinch grips or forceps?
- Are vials easy to cap and thread?
- Are supplies and tools within easy reach?
- Are chemical and gas valves easy to reach and turn?
- Are bottle dispensers and bottom dispensing carboys available to dispense liquids?
- Are heavy bottles and boxes stored on low shelves?
- Do you try to take a break and change tasks every 20-30 minutes?
Discuss the results with your supervisor to find ways to mitigate the risks.
Onsite ergonomic evaluations and lab design consultations are available. You can request assistance here.