Ergonomics Working Group

Computer Workstation Assessment, Fort Jackson, SC

The Fort Jackson Ergonomics Committee requested an ergonomic assessment of video display terminal (VDT) workstations at the Strom Thurmond Building, Fort Jackson, SC. The purpose of the assessment was to assess the current status of existing VDT workstations and to identify favorable and unfavorable trends within the organization to maximize money spent when new equipment is purchased.

The Fort Jackson ergonomics team and an ergonomist from the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine evaluated 56 VDT workstations on 12 July 2002.

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. This may help explain why 60 percent of the survey workers complained of on-the-job pain.

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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