The Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) administers the ergonomics program for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Ergonomics is the science of designing and arranging the physical work environment, or task, to fit the worker in a way that promotes human well-being. Repetitive stress injuries, such as muscular skeletal disorders, can occur in work environments that are not properly set up for the worker and their task.
Click on each section below to explore information and resources on OEHS Ergonomics Program:
- Basic Ergonomics Principles
By understanding basic ergonomic principles and engaging in a simple self-evaluation process, staff can avoid injuries. Three key principles to setting up and working safely at a workstation are:
- Establish neutral positions
- While you work, from head to toe, your body should be positioned to avoid or minimize inflammation
- Avoid static postures
- Change tasks to avoid staying in the same position repeating the same movements all day, every day
- Incorporate moving and stretching into your day
- Taking frequent (every 30 – 60 minutes), short breaks (1-5 minutes) will increase circulation and reduce the likelihood of developing muscular skeletal disorders.
The arrangement above is an optimal arrangement for a desktop computer user. Fully seated in the chair, elbows at the side, shoulders relaxed, forearms parallel to the floor, eyes level with the top of the screen and feet flat on the floor enable the user to maintain neutral positions.
- Establish neutral positions
- Home Office Ergonomics
If you are working from home, this Safety Alert covering Home Office Ergonomics and this video about working from home are full of ideas to help you adapt to your work environment, and arrange it to suit your individual needs.
- Tips and Helpful Ergonomic Links
Establish safe work habits. Self-assessment should be a regular part of your day to inform you of the need for adjustments. If you begin to notice pain or discomfort, immediately change the way you are working, your arrangement, or your equipment. Remember to avoid static postures!
Use this self-assessment document from Cal OSHA or these videos from the State of California Compensation Insurance Fund to assist in setting up your workstation. Don’t wait until you experience pain and discomfort! Implementing these safe work practices now can prevent injuries.
For construction workers or manual labor, ergonomic resources can be found from the State of California Compensation Insurance Fund.
- OEHS Ergonomics Evaluation Request
Employees who need assistance with an ergonomic arrangement or training should talk to their supervisor. Supervisors may request an ergonomic evaluation for an employee from OEHS. The supervisor must submit the Ergonomic Evaluation Request form to OEHS. The request will be added to the queue and the evaluation will be scheduled and conducted in the order it was received. An OEHS evaluator will contact the employee’s supervisor prior to scheduling the evaluation.
NOTE: if the request is related to a workers’ compensation claim, employees need to contact Risk Management at 213-241-3139.
An OEHS ergonomic evaluation typically consists of a one-hour, one-on-one assessment of the workstation equipment, setup and user habits. During the evaluation, OEHS may make adjustments to the workstation, such as positioning the mouse, keyboard, monitor, and adjusting the chair. At the conclusion of the evaluation, OEHS will generate a summary report with action items that require the requesting supervisor to complete. Action items may include reconfiguring the workstation and/or providing additional or more appropriate equipment for the employee.
If you have any questions regarding the District’s Ergonomics Program, please contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety at 213-241-3199 or send an email to OEHSQuestions@lausd.net.