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Ergonomics is the science of fitting the workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population. The goal of ergonomics is to make work more comfortable and to improve both health and productivity. To meet these goals, the capabilities and limitations of workers and their tools, equipment and furniture are considered in conjunction with how they relate to particular tasks.

Workers who perform repetitive work most of their workday, who work in an awkward position, use a great deal of force to perform their jobs, repeatedly lift heavy objects or who face a combination of these risk factors are at an increased risk of developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs).

The term WMSDs refers to disorders for which the work environment and the performance of work contribute significantly, for examples repetitive motion, forceful effort, or prolonged awkward postures. To minimize such risk factors you are urged to use Ergonomic Self-Evaluations Tool to make adjustments to your work environment.

EH&S also hosts monthly ergonomic workshops designed to offer tips and techniques for avoiding WMSDs and making your workplace more ergonomically fit. While EH&S does provide ergonomic tips, we do not provide or prescribe any specific ergonomic equipment or endorse any specific product or manufacturer of such products. The Purchasing Department has approved vendors on their website who provide ergonomically designed products like, chairs, mouse, footrests, keyboards, document holders, etc. The decision to purchase ergonomically designed equipment should be made between the individual and their supervisor/departmental administrator.

Please feel free to register for one of the following workshops to learn more about ergonomics. If you have any questions, please contact us at erg-ehrs@columbia.edu.

Ergonomic Workshop Schedule
Studebaker, 3rd Floor Room 367, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

January 22, 2014
February 19, 2014
March 19, 2014
April 23, 2014
May 21, 2014
June 25, 2014
July 23, 2014
August 20, 2014
September 24, 2014
October 22, 2014
November 19, 2014
December 17, 2014

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