Making Pennsylvania workspaces more ergonomic

Employers in Pennsylvania should be sure their offices are comfortable and safe to better ensure employees do not suffer injuries.

Employees who work in a Pennsylvania office might not face the same risks as employees who work in construction areas, but employers should still take the proper steps to keep employees safe from common workplace injuries, such as repetitive motion injuries. Making workspaces more ergonomic goes a long way in allowing employees to be more productive and safer while at work.

Start with the basics

While there is special ergonomic furniture that helps prevent workplace injuries, it is best to start with the fundamentals. Desks, chairs and other types of office furniture should be arranged so that employees can work as comfortably as possible. Everything in a workstation should be within easy reach to keep employees from straining unnecessarily. Employees should also stretch throughout the day to keep their muscles loose and their circulation flowing. To prevent eyestrain, it is best to look away from computer screens at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.

Use the right office tools

Combining the above tips with ergonomic office furniture and tools does even more to prevent office accidents. Desks should be adjusted to properly accommodate an employee's height, meaning their knees and thighs should easily slide underneath. There should also be enough room on the desk for all an employee's work materials, preventing the need for them to "improvise" to make room, which could lead to overstraining or avoidable accidents.

Wrist and palm rests for the keyboard and mouse help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. There are also special gloves office employees can wear that encourage circulation and proper hand positioning while typing.

Ergonomic keyboards are arranged so users are better able to position their hands in a way that is natural and does not lead to avoidable stress or discomfort. There are also mechanical keyboards, which are easier to type on and softer on hand joints.

Office chairs should provide plenty of support for the spine and be comfortable as well. Chairs should also have armrests for the user's elbows to better support proper posture.

Pay attention to location

Office workspaces should also be positioned properly to avoid discomfort and the need for employees to make adjustments that might lead to injuries. For instance, the office temperature should be kept at a comfortable setting, which also makes concentrating on work easier. Screens should be free of glares from lights, sunlight and other computer screens.

Pennsylvania employers can take small measures to keep office workers safe and comfortable. Should the above measures not be enough to prevent injuries, it is often best to contact a lawyer.