Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
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>Office Ergonomics Safety Guide

Table of Contents



Section I

Ergonomic Hazards in the Office Workplace

  1. What is Ergonomics?
  2. What are WMSD?
  3. Why Is There So Much Commotion about Ergonomics?
  4. What are the Common Symptoms of WMSD?
    • Musculoskeletal Injuries
    • Pain
  5. How do Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSD) Occur?
  6. How do WMSD Affect our Body?
    • Joint Injury
    • Muscle Injury
    • Tendon Injury
    • Nerve Injury
    • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
    • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    • Back Injury
    • Prevention of Back Injury
  7. What to Do if You Notice Symptoms of WMSD
  8. How are WMSD Treated?
    • Restriction of Movement
    • Application of Heat and Cold
    • Exercise
    • Medication and Surgery


Section II

Office Ergonomics Program

  1. What is an Office Ergonomics Program?
  2. How to Identify Ergonomic Hazards
  3. How to Control Ergonomic Hazards
    • Workstation Design
    • Working in a Standing Position
    • Work Organization
    • Tool, Equipment and Furniture Design
    • Manual Material Handling
    • Work Environment
    • Lighting and Vision
  4. Ergonomic Aspects of Visual Display Terminals
    • VDT Workplace Checklist
    • Common Health Hazards
    • WMSD Related to Using Computers
    • Common Symptoms and Causes
    • VDT Workstation Adjustment
    • Using the Computer Mouse
    • Selecting the Right Mouse
    • Placement of a Computer Mouse
    • Using the Telephone while Operating a VDT
    • Radiation from VDTs
    • Working with VDTs in a Standing Position
    • VDT WorkplaceöJob Design
  5. Office Safety
  6. Exercises to do in the Office
  7. Education and Training


Section III

Ergonomic Regulations, Standards and Guidelines

  1. Canadian Standards
  2. International Standards


Section IV

Occupational Health and Safety Legislation

  1. Canadian Legislation
  2. US Legislation


Section V

Information Sources

  1. Canadian
  2. US



A1: Sample Ergonomics Survey Questionnaire
A2: Sample Health Survey
A3: Sample Ergonomic Checklist