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DEA 651: Evaluation of Proposed Ergonomic Workstations in Olin Library

Workstation #3: Evaluation

This page includes evaluation and images of Workstation #3.

Abstract | Workstation #1 | Workstation #2 | Workstation #3

Workstation #4 | Workstation #5 (C) | Existing Workstation

Posture Analysis | Reach Envelope

This Steelcase workstation was evaluated by a RULA analysis system on a writing task and a keyboard task. It received a score of 3 out of 7 on each task. This low score was to be expected as the workstation was ergonomically designed, however individual steps in the RULA analysis did not score as well. These scores highlight some of the problem areas.

One major problem was addressed in Step 9 - Neck Position. On the writing task this station received a 4 because the neck would be angled down at 20 degrees and bend to the side. The problem lies with the configuration of the workstation itself. The closest surface is on the left side of the body (see reach envelope). A worker can not turn the chair 90 degrees to face this surface because the knees hit a bar on the underside of the keyboard. Similarly a right-handed person would be forced to reach across the midline of the body to write. This was Step 2 which received a score of 3. These issues are areas of concern because a worker at this station is inputting and moving data and may frequently jot down notes as well. Thus, the worker must assume a leaning, sidebending posture to write or move items such as the papers he/she is inputting. This posture is ok for the short term but may lead to injury if held for long periods or done at frequent repetitions which seems to be the case here.

The RULA scores for the wrist and arm positions on the keyboard task were good with 1s and 2s. A good feature of this station is that it provides a mouse pad for left or right side of the keyboard. One negative issue with the keyboard task was that there was not adequate wrist support. The keyboard is adjustable but if the keyboard if it is set at a negative slope which supports the wrist the mouse falls off! Additionally the chair had no armrests.

Lastly the monitor height was simply too low, even for a small statured person of 5'2". A worker of any stature is forced to bend the neck down to see the monitor and source documents. There were no document holders in this station.

There is a big "pelican" drawer in the left side of the workstation, which is designed to keep folders and one computer keypad. We found that it does not work well for this workstation for the following reasons: 1. It is not easily for people to notice that there is a drawer under the desk. 2. We had to pull it out completely to use it and there is not enough space to do this. One reason is that the worker must get out of the chair to open the drawer and there might be some book carts which would block this action. 3. The space of the folders is too big and too deep. It wastes space and it is inconvenient for people to draw it out or push it in several times within a day. People might prefer to use those stacks above their desk to hold the frequently used documents. That can lead to stretching types of injuries.

Regarding the chair in this workstation, it is not stable enough. The castors were too slippery. When we sit down we always had to make some effort to stable ourselves in front of the monitor. The suggestion we make is to buy new castors and/or put a mat with a textured surface to provide more friction. Also, adjusting the chair properly is not intuitive and took some trial and error.


Workstation #3

Click here to see posture study station3.gif (55276 bytes)   setup3.gif (51400 bytes)


Abstract | Workstation #1 | Workstation #2 | Workstation #3

Workstation #4 | Workstation #5 (C) | Existing Workstation

Posture Analysis | Reach Envelope

This page created by DEA 651: Ergonomics, Anthropometrics, and Biomechanics,
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Last updated January 25, 2009