COVID-19 – Remote Workspace Ergonomics for Telecommuters During “Stay at Home Order”
The Palomar Community College District Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) Office is unable to conduct ergonomic onsite evaluations of employee’s home workstations as part of the Stay at Home order. Through this webpage, EH&S has made available Telecommuters’ tips, fact sheets, group trainings and other training resources.
TELECOMMUTERS ERGONOMIC EVALUATION PROCESSES:
- Workers Compensation Claim-Related Requests – if employee’s primary treating physician (PTP) requests an evaluation, contact Human Resources at https://www.palomar.edu/hr/employees/workers-compensation/. The workers compensation claims examiner will be the main contact and will facilitate the process.
- Non-Claim Related/Preventive Requests:
- Employee should make attempts to adjust the workstation based on resources provided below.
- Contact the Districts EH&S Office for assistance at FacilitiesRemedy@palomar.edu.
- Employee may be required to submit pictures of themselves working at their remote spaces.
- A qualified ergonomist will review the pictures, provide feedback, and complete a report.
- A teleconference with the employee can be arranged.
- These services will be provided under the Districts insurance with Keenan & Associates.
- Employees with an Existing Accommodation:
- Employees who have been provided with District ergonomic equipment as a formal accommodation should contact Human Resources at email@example.com to re-engage in the interactive process to determine how best to arrange work and assignments based on their needs.
Items Approved to Take Home: Keyboards, headsets, free-standing monitors, mice, office/ergonomic chairs, footstools or other non-furniture items that do not require disassembly. The employee MUST be able to safely remove the items by themselves. Friends and family members are not permitted to join the employee on a campus visit during this time.
Items that Cannot be Taken Home: Any fixed items or furniture (other than ergonomic chairs), or things that require assembly or disassembly. In summary, anything that the employee is unable to safely remove themselves is not approved to be removed from campus.
Process for Taking Home Items:
- The removal of these items must be coordinated with the requesting employee’s immediate supervisor.
- A request to come onto campus must be submitted and approved by the policy group. After it has been approved, a link to sign-up to come onto campus will be sent to the employee.
- An Equipment Removal Form must be completed and signed by the employee and their supervisor. The form must be retained by the requesting department, including a list of ALL items being removed. If an item exceeds $1,000 in value or has an inventory tag, a copy of the Equipment Removal Form must be submitted to Fiscal Services.
- The employee should bring a copy of the approved Equipment Removal Form with them onto campus and must be able to transport the items themselves, essential staff will not be able to assist as they are attending to other critical district needs. Employees should always use proper lifting techniques.
Telecommuting can be difficult during the Stay at Home order. These tips and fact sheets provide in-depth suggestions on how to improve computer set-ups and aspects of comfort related to computer work. Start by reviewing the materials, then making one or two changes that best suit your home work area. You do not have to make sweeping changes all at once. Incremental change allows you to “test out” those changes and decide if more, or less, are necessary. Resolving discomfort associated with computer work can be tricky, but by making a few changes over time you will have an optimized computer workstation that reduces strain on the body and improves comfort.
- Ergonomics for Telecommuters
- Easy Ergonomics for Desktop Computer Users
- Setting Up Your Laptop in Your Home Office
- Stretching Exercises
Keenan Microlearning Series – https://www.keenan.com/Knowledge-Center/Working-Remotely (content is updated as new ones become available):
- Finding the Right Environment
- Managing Your Emotions
- Keyboard and Mouse Comfort
- Chair Comfort
- Monitor Placement
- Home Electrical Safety
- Time Management
- Work Surface Height
COMING SOON: Humanscale’s Work@Home Live Webinar Series, developed specifically to empower Home Based Workers with the ability to configure their workstations for long term comfort and health. The one-hour program elevates awareness of key ergonomics concepts, principles and adjustment guidelines. Strategies for optimizing comfort while using laptops, desktops and sit/stand workstations are discussed throughout.
The live webinar will be offered on Zoom, through Palomar College Professional Development.
- Learn how to configure any work from home environment for increased health, comfort and performance.
- Elevate awareness of key ergonomic concepts, principles and adjustment guidelines.
- Gain valuable insight on strategies for achieving neutral postures when working from home.
- Learn how to evaluate existing equipment for fit and long-term comfort.
- Dispel commonly held misconceptions.