Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, requested an ergonomic assessment of video display terminal (VDT) workstations at the Pulaski Building in Washington, DC. The purpose of the assessment was to identify risk factors associated with the current workstations and recommend solutions to eliminate or minimize the ergonomic hazards.
An ergonomics team from the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine evaluated 465 VDT workstations during the period 10-27 February 1998.
Many of the desks in use at the time of the assessment were purchased before the proliferation of mouse driven software and therefore, were not designed specifically for mouse use. Risk factors, such as awkward postures, repetitive motions, and mechanical stresses (sharp corners or edges on desks) were evident at most of the workstations. These risk factors can lead to fatigue, discomfort, or pain among the employees with the more severe cases leading to a work related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSD) such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
The evaluation team identified specific ergonomic hazards attributable to the design of the workstations. Below are the team’s primary findings and recommended solutions.
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