Workbench ergonomics tips
Good ergonomics increases productivity, reduces mistakes, promotes safety and health at work and increases motivation and commitment.
Read our tips for test bench ergonomics covering following topics:
If tasks require paperwork, typing, no heavy lifting, and/or all tools for the job are provided in arm’s reach,
then the workstation should be designed for sitting, but with possibility to stand.
If tasks require lifting heavy loads, continuous movement, parts retrieval, and/or there is no leg space, then
the workstation should be designed for standing but with the possibility to rest every now and then.
When sitting, a desk surface should typically be 63 to 76 cm high for writing and typing, and can be positioned
as much as 25 cm higher if tasks demand an elevated platform. Depending on personal preference, the surface
should offer the versatility to be lowered 5 cm to accommodate for body size.
When standing, the desk should be 76 to 114 cm high, and, once again, able to adjust to 5 cm lower
Monitors should be placed between 50 and 100 cm from a worker’s face to help avoid eyestrain
and help see on-screen text easily. Its height should be adjusted to 20-30 degrees below eye
level and directly in front of the worker, if possible.
Don’t forget that contrast and brightness should be adjusted to suit each individual’s comfort level, as
poorly lit or focused screens may cause additional strain.
When designing the workstation lighting, the requirements of the work are determined first. A task that demands a good eye for detail usually calls for a spotlight. If the viewed object is square, at least two lights are necessary,
in order to remove shadows. If the viewed object is a level surface, it can be illuminated with one long
lamp – though it is important to remember to direct any reflections away from the user.
Normal illuminance, or lux (lx), values in the assembly work are between 300-1000 lx and the colour
rendering index, which tells how well colours are ‘reproduced’ in our eyes, CRI is 80.
Today, you can even download applications on your mobile, which give you instant lux values.
Other factors that should be considered include: keyboard distance, keyboard trays, reach distance for tools and other table-based equipment, if multiple monitors are needed, wrist rests, and placement and tilting possibilities of bins, trays or ramps. Also air conditioning, ventilation and vibrations add into the ergonomic environment. Beyond physical elements, you should routinely encourage workers to maintain good posture and take breaks to avoid strain, tension and fatigue. Frequent stretching can also help reduce discomfort.