Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Computer Workers at Risk for Stress Injuries

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Computer Workers at Risk for Stress Injuries

Article excerpt

A national study shows a computer work force of 18 million Americans at significant risk from repetitive stress injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and lower back injuries.

The survey, conducted by Office Organix, identified four common workplace risk categories: poor workstation layout, inadequate office equipment, unhealthy postural habits and lower worker expectations about office comfort. Conducted over a 24-month period, the study showed that despite significant press given to OSHA-proposed requirements, the work force is ill-equipped and at risk.

"Stress injuries cost real dollars; the personal pain is real and lost productivity is real," Office Organix President Michael Grossman said.

Poor workstation setup heads the list of safety problems discovered. Fifty-one percent place keyboards too high -- contributing to neck, shoulder and wrist stress -- as leading to CTS causes.

The monitor is placed too high for 65 percent of workers, contributing to neck and shoulder stress, and 47.8 percent cradle the phone between the head and shoulder during phone calls instead of using a headset.

Excessively bright, high-glare offices is another frequent finding. …

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