Faculty/Staff Ergonomics

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Design Guidelines

Ergonomics is an applied science that focuses on fitting jobs and environments to the people who interact and work in them.  The results of science and research have helped direct the development of ergonomics design guidelines and provide critical information to the design team.  Collaborating with the architects, project managers, interior designers, management and end users will help create innovative designs that are sustainable and positively influence health and performance.   


The UC Berkeley campus is committed to designing ergonomic workplaces to reduce the risk of repetitive motion injuries. Ergonomics focuses on incorporating the campus ergonomics strategy of providing adjustability at each computer workstation. Ergonomics also reviews design drawings, and equipment specifications and consults with departments, architects, designers, and Capital Projects to provide design guidelines for new construction and remodels of existing buildings. The Berkeley Law Library Infill project and the Energy Biosciences Building have received a LEED credit from the United States Green Building Council for the campus ergonomics strategy and their innovative designs. Ergonomics touches many aspects of work and continues to push the envelope in developing guidelines that help fit the person to their work situation.

LEED Credit Criteria for Ergonomics

New construction and remodels of existing buildings is an ongoing process on the Berkeley campus. Ergonomics has partnered with Capital Projects to incorporate computer workstation adjustability at the beginning of projects to help improve productivity and human health. This section discusses the criteria for the LEED credit for the campus ergonomics strategy and highlights the projects that have received this credit.

New Construction

2016 Campus Ergonomics Strategy for New Construction (projects registered after 10/31/2016) 

Campus Ergonomics Strategy for New Buildings: LEED Credit for Innovation in Design (1 Point)

Projects Receiving LEED Credit for Ergonomics

Customer Sales and Service Counters

Customer sales and service counters are often the focal point when entering a building or department.  It is an area where information is shared and/or transactions occur.  The design of the space allows for accessibility and should also incorporate critical workstation design elements for staff (i.e. adjustability for the work surface and computer monitor, as well as having shorter reaches to hand items back and forth to the customers).  The guidelines provide new design ideas to help improve the functionality of the space for the staff. 



Custodians, housekeepers, and environmental service workers play a critical role in keeping building interiors well-maintained. To perform these physical tasks, these workers are exposed to ergonomic 
risk factors such as repetitive motions and awkward postures. Their high-risk tasks include waste, recycling and linen handling, mopping, bathroom cleaning, vacuuming, lifting and moving furniture. The following guidelines should be considered to help decrease the ergonomic risk factors for custodians, housekeepers, and environmental service workers.  


Dining Services plays a critical role in providing food for thousands of students, patients, staff, and faculty.  To perform this critical job function, workers are exposed to ergonomic risks such as repetitive motion, strain, and awkward postures.  The 5 top high-risk tasks include food preparation, manual material handling in the kitchen, stocking and retrieving items from the stockroom, transporting food to remote locations, and dishwashing.  The following guidelines should be considered to help decrease the ergonomic risk factors for the food service workers in the Dining department. 


The laboratory workbenches are typically designed with two different work surface heights (30 and 36 inches) which allows researchers to use the computer and also work on experiments. Setting the height of the computer workstation to a lower height with adjustability helps accommodate a wide range of users. Providing knee access under the work benches allows everyone to use safer postures while completing their critical research. 

Lactation Room Guidelines

Throughout the campus, there are multiple lactation rooms that service the needs of nursing mothers on campus. For those interested in introducing a new lactation space, please refer to the guidelines below to ensure the room meets all of the design standards.

UC Systemwide Ergonomics Work Group Projects

The System-wide Ergonomics Work Group consists of the ergonomists from the 10 campuses and 5 medical centers at the University of California. Together they work on projects that focus on the high at-risk occupations with the objective of reducing risk factors by developing Best Practices Bulletins, Recommended Product Sheets and Ergonomics Design Guidelines.