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A department within Student Affairs

Project ERGO

Defined as the science of fitting jobs to people, the concept of ergonomics focuses on designing workstations for safety and efficiency. Effective ergonomic design can reduce injuries and increase work satisfaction and productivity. Similarly, ergonomics, and in particular the application of alternate computer hardware, greatly enhances the accessibility of workstations for users with a disability and, as such, this project has a dual role.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly two-thirds of all occupational illnesses reported, were caused by exposure to repeated trauma to workers upper body (the wrist, elbow or shoulder). One common example of such an injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. As our student population is now, more than ever, an IT dependent population, the proportional risk of repetitive strain injury at an earlier age is greater.

The Tech Center, a nationally recognized student computing facility, has 600 work stations. This project purchased a wide range of ergonomic hardware including assistive hardware that will be strategically distributed amongst 60 workstations within the Tech Center. The Computer Services Department strategically identified the location of each workstation in line with current staffing, facility usage trends, as well as the ability of staff to oversee the workstations from their support center within the Tech Center.

Each workstation had an information card identifying the ergonomic hardware, its basic functioning, as well as outlining the benefits of ergonomic hardware in general. This enabled widespread promotion of ergonomics and served to create a more inclusive IT environment for all students, including those with a disability. Return to Projects page