used inappropriately, laboratory workbenches can expose researchers to
a variety of hazardous conditions or ergonomic risk factors depending
on the laboratory procedure being used. Most workbenches at the
University are of fixed heights and cannot be modified (raised or
lowered). In general they are the same height and were designed
light to slightly heavy work. Using a laboratory workbench as a
computer workstation is an example of inappropriate use, since it
forces the worker to assume a awkward postures and would
increase the likelihood of acquiring MSD
Associated Risk Factors:
- workbench height is above elbow height, between
37and 43 inches,
use for precision work.
- If workbench height is just below elbow height,
between 34 and 37
inches, use for light work.
- If workbench height is below elbow, between 28
and 35 inches, use
for heavy work.
- Always assume proper sitting or standing
- When sitting, use only adjustable stool or
chair with built-in
foot and arm rest to insure lower back, thigh, and feet support.
leg clearance is not available, workbench must not be used for work
requiring using a stool. Otherwise, create leg room under the bench by
- When standing for extended periods of time, use
and a foot rest to reduce joint strain and muscle fatigue.
- Remove drawers, supplies and other materials
workbenches to provide leg room.
- Take frequent small breaks to alter repetition,
posture, and muscle static work