To establish divisional expectations and standards regarding ergonomics of the seated position program at River East Transcona School Division (RETSD) that meets or exceeds all municipal, federal and provincial legislated workplace safety and health program requirements.
An ergonomics of the seated position program must be defined and documented for compliance as part of Element 2, identify and control hazards and emergencies, for the effective development and implementation of a workplace safety and health program under Manitoba legislation.
This safe operating procedure and associated documents establish a procedure for ergonomics of the seated position program for all workers at RETSD. The best practices apply to all RETSD worksites.
All stakeholders and workers are responsible for adjusting their workstations to minimize the risk of musculoskeletal injury associated with computer workstations.
POTENTIAL HAZARDS OF THE SEATED POSITION AND COMPUTER WORKSTATIONS
Office workers often sit at their workstations for long periods, day after day. If they do not have their chairs and workstations set up correctly, they may be sitting and using their computer in a manner that could lead to injuries over time.
In order to minimize the risk of injury, workers should be equipped with adjustable chairs and workstations, and be trained on how to properly adjust them. Proper adjustment techniques and other considerations are listed below.
ADJUSTING YOUR CHAIR
Following the tips below will set up your chair in a way that minimizes the risk of injury.
Adjust the height of the chair:
If an adjustable height keyboard tray is available, adjust the chair to a height where your feet are comfortably flat on the floor and the knees are bent 90º-110º.
If the keyboard is at a fixed height, adjust the chair to a height where the elbows are at the same height as the keyboard. Provide a footrest if this raises the feet off the floor.
Adjust the tilt of the chair so that the seat-pan is flat or tilted slightly forward. If your seat-pan can move forward and back, adjust it so there are 2-3 finger widths between the front of the seat and the back of your legs.
Adjust the height of the backrest lumbar support to the small of the back.
Adjust the back angle so that the worker feels a slight pressure in the small of the back from the lumbar support when sitting upright. This slight pressure will help the workers maintain a good sitting posture.
Place the arm rests directly under the shoulders with the elbows held directly at the side of the body.
Adjust the arm rests to a height where the arms are supported but not pushed up, and the forearms are parallel with the floor.
ADJUSTING YOUR WORKSTATION TIPS
While many people recognize that having a properly set up chair is important in preventing injuries, they often overlook the importance of the set-up of their workstation.
If a height adjustable keyboard tray is available, position the keyboard tray at the height of the elbows. If the keyboard height is fixed, raise or lower the chair so that the elbows are at the height of the keyboard. Provide a footrest if the chair height keeps the feet off the ground.
ADJUST THE HEIGHT OF THE MONITOR
Consider some of the following types of equipment and work practices to further reduce the risk of injuries:
Numerous mouse alternatives (i.e. vertical or joystick style) are available that can help keep your hand and wrist in a more neutral position.
Wrist gel pads can be used to prevent your wrists from resting on the desk while typing. They should not be used with the mouse, however, as this can lead to repeated side-to-side movement of the wrist.
A combination of hard-copy postings, distributions and electronic posting will be used to communicate safety and health program information within RETSD.
All stakeholders shall be trained to their required level of involvement in the WSHMS to become familiar with its structure, organization, and how to look up and access information both electronically and in hard copy form through:
Ultimately, the superintendent shall be responsible for the sustainability of the WSHMS, and shall enforce compliance to standards at a divisional level.
Workplace safety and health management system compliance shall be managed through the application of performance management and progressive discipline policies and procedures.
Worker failure to comply with provisions of the RETSD safety program may lead to discipline, up to and including discharge from employment and / or other remedies available at law.
Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act or equivalent legislation as applicable
Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation or equivalent legislation as applicable
Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation Part 02 – General Duties
Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation Part 08 – Musculoskeletal Injuries
Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Program Element 02 – Identifying and Controlling Hazards
All other associated and applicable workplace safety and health management system documents