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Computer Workstation Guidelines

The State of New Jersey and its local government agencies are increasingly dependent upon computers in order to increase workplace productivity and efficiency. In some instances, computers have been introduced without a plan to ensure comfort, safety and knowledge of good work practices among computer operators. These Guidelines are issued by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health (PEOSH) Program to help employers provide computer operators with ergonomically designed furniture and equipment, workstations that have well-designed lighting, appropriate training and vision care information. The successful implementation of the Computer Workstation Guidelines will help avoid the health problems described in the document and increase operator satisfaction and productivity.

The Guidelines provide recommendations and offer suggestions for improvements to computer workstations and computers themselves, which can aid managers with the purchase of new equipment. The Guidelines can also serve as an educational tool for employers and employees regarding the adverse health effects of poorly designed computer workstations. A discussion on vision examination is offered so that computer operators can have visual problems corrected as quickly as possible if a problem should develop. A section on manager training is included because it is important for managers to realize the importance of healthy computer working conditions. It is also important to train operators in the use of adjustable furniture, good work practices that can minimize the potential adverse health effects of computer work, early signs of health effects such as carpal tunnel syndrome, and the type of information they should bring to their eye doctor. Finally, information on the frequency of breaks and proper job design is included to suggest appropriate work-rest schedules in order to minimize the stresses of computer work. A glossary is included to assist with terms with which you may not be familiar.

The Guidelines are available in hard copy only. You may request a copy of the document using our online Educational Materials Order Form, or by calling the PEOSH Program at (609) 984-1863.

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