Faculty/Staff Ergonomics

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Ergonomics Matching Funds Program 

UC Berkeley University Health Services funds an Ergonomics Matching Funds Program through the Be Well at Work - Ergonomics program that offers a funding incentive of 50% of the cost of ergonomic equipment up to a maximum of $1,000 per employee* in matching funds to aid departments in modifying on-campus and remote computer workstations according to ergonomic guidelines for campus and remote computer workstations. 

The intent is to incentivize campus departments with financial aid to invest in appropriate ergonomic equipment to prevent and/or minimize the effects of computer-related repetitive motion injuries.

Funding for this program is limited. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Funding reimbursement will be delayed or denied for applications that are incomplete or provide insufficient supporting documentation. 

Department Ergo Project Matching Funds: 

If a department has more than one individual looking to order computer ergonomics products simultaneously at the same location or has a non-office environment to be modified, then individual Matching Funds parameters would not apply and potential Department Ergo Project Matching Funds would be discussed instead with the department manager/supervisor. Ergo Project Matching Funds are variable in availability and not guaranteed. Before applying for Ergo Project Matching Funds, please first consult with Be Well at Work - Ergonomics and fill out the Department Ergonomic Project Consultation Request Form so that we have details of your project to discuss with you. Be Well at Work - Ergonomics also provides guidance to Capital Strategies on Campus Design Standards for new construction.

*Must be a UC Berkeley employee (faculty, staff, Postdoc, GSR) receiving payment from the university and with job tasks involving the use of computer work for the university to be eligible.

What are the terms and conditions for the Ergo Matching Funds program?

Terms and Conditions

  1. Parameters:    

    1. UC Berkeley employees (faculty, staff, Postdoc, GSR) receiving payment from the university and with job tasks involving the use of computer work for the university

    2. Ergo furniture/accessories to be used on the Berkeley campus or at home for remote Berkeley job tasks 

    3. Ergo furniture/accessories purchased for individual employees. Projects/bulk purchases are not handled under the regular Ergo Matching Funds parameters; contact Be Well at Work - Ergonomics (ergonomics@berkeley.edu) for guidance and discussion of potential Project Ergo Matching Funds.

    4. Ergo furniture/accessories that are Be Well at Work - Ergonomics pre-approved furniture and accessories catalog options through BearBuy or approved vendors 

  2. Limits:  

    1. Matching funds have limited availability and the total funds available are subject to change each fiscal cycle (the fiscal year begins July 1st and ends June 30th the following year). Applications are handled first-come-first-serve until funds are depleted.

    2. Approved matching funds cover 50% of the total cost of the purchased ergonomic equipment up to $1000 per individual. The $1000 maximum limit is flexible to be split between multiple locations (ex: campus workstation and remote home workstation). 

    3. Due to limited resources, individuals are only eligible for the maximum amount of Matching Funds one time. Allowances to exceed the $1000 maximum limit through additional applications may only be considered at the discretion of Be Well at Work - Ergonomics in cases such as individual transferring departments. 

    4. Matching Funds applications cannot be made for prior purchases of ergonomic equipment from a previous fiscal cycle for retroactive reimbursement (must be requested within the same fiscal year that the purchase is made). 

    5. Purchases made under the Matching Funds program are final: charges and reimbursements are not refundable and any returns/exchanges are dependent on vendor policy, and the associated costs are the sole responsibility of the department and the employee. Ensure that you are carefully reviewing product choices and request assistance from Be Well at Work - Ergonomics if you have questions or concerns.

  3. Eligibility Factors

    1. Ergo Training: 

      1. Employees must fully complete the online RSS Ergo self-assessment and training module to be eligible. Substitute in-person training workshops are available in the fall and spring semesters.

      2. Training must be completed prior to applying for funds and within the fiscal year of the Matching Funds application submission. 

    2. Workstation Evaluation:  

      1. A personal workstation evaluation is not required for Matching Funds eligibility as long as the employee has taken the online ergo self-assessment and self-selects appropriate approved items from the Be Well at Work - Ergonomics pre-approved products catalog. 

      2. A workstation evaluation may be performed by a department’s trained computer workstation evaluator to determine recommended equipment from the pre-approved catalog.

      3. An evaluation by a campus ergonomist may be substituted if additional assistance is requested by the employee if prescribed for an employee by their health care provider, or special circumstances require ergonomic equipment beyond the pre-approved catalog.

  4. Deadline
    Matching Funds can only be awarded to orders expensed within the current fiscal year. Matching funds applications for recommended furniture and/or accessories must be submitted at least 4 weeks before the end of a fiscal year cycle (July 31st) to allow enough processing time before the close of the fiscal year, and preferably within 30 days of a workstation evaluation (if applicable). 

Direct vs. Reimbursement Matching Funds

The Be Well at Work - Ergonomics Program has implemented a new recommended Direct Matching Funds process to eliminate delays in Matching Funds processing and usage. 

If utilizing the new Direct process, UCB Ergonomics helps with handling the quotation and purchasing logistics of the selected/recommended products, and Matching Funds are immediately applied during the purchase while the department is charged their respective half of the costs. Note: Please do not order items on your own if going through the Direct Matching Funds process as orders are not reversible due to the nature of split cost center ordering.   

Alternatively, a department can still opt for the traditional process of purchasing the products on their own through BearBuy (product info can be found via the pre-approved ergo catalog) and request reimbursement through the Be Well at Work - Ergonomics Matching Funds Program. However, note that most catalog items are not readily available through BearBuy and reimbursement processing currently stands at a 2-3 month turnaround. See Tips on Ordering Ergonomic Equipment for information on how to place orders, as well as expected timelines if choosing the reimbursement route. For these reasons, we highly recommend using the new Direct Matching Funds process.  

The online application form allows you to indicate whether you are opting to use the Direct Matching Funds process or the Reimbursement Matching Funds process. 

Application Process

Follow the steps outlined to qualify and apply for ergo matching funds:

Step 1: Complete the online RSS Computer Ergonomics module

Important Notice: New RSS Computer Ergonomics Self-Assessment & Training Module 

UCOP is retiring the Computer Health Matters online ergonomics training module as of 7/14/23. In its place is the new RSS Computer Ergonomics module which is housed and accessed on the Risk & Safety Solutions platform instead of the UC Learning Center. 

RSS Computer Ergonomics is an online solution that provides insights into how an employee’s workstation should fit and meet their postural needs. The self-assessment helps identify ergonomic risks at a computer workstation that can cause injuries. An improper work area setup and improper equipment or use of it can result in the development of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) 

Completion of the self-assessment module helps fulfill ergonomic training requirements and grants eligibility to apply for the Ergo Matching Funds program.

To access RSS Computer Ergonomics:

  1. Click the hyperlink or copy and paste it into your browser: https://app.riskandsafety.com/(link is external)
  2. Log in with your campus sign-on credentials.
  3. Click on “Computer Ergonomic Self-Assessment” from the upper right-hand corner of the landing page.

More detailed user guides regarding access and use of the RSS Computer Ergonomics module can be found in this video(link is external) or PDF document(link is external)

For assistance, if you have issues with the module, such as accessing the training, please contact Risk & Safety Solutions via their online ticketing system(link is external)

Optional In-Person Alternative: Computer Health Matters - Campus and Remote Work Workshop

This workshop offers in-person training that promotes safe and healthy work practices and the effective use of workstation furniture and accessories. It is designed to cover the same content as the online self-assessment and training. Note that this in-person workshop is only offered at select times each semester. Visit the Ergonomics Workshops webpage to learn more or to enroll in a workshop. 

Optional Ergonomic Evaluation 

  • The RSS Computer Ergonomics online module is designed to include an ergonomics self-evaluation and thus provides basic ergonomic evaluation assistance. If you have identified equipment needed through the self-assessment, further ergonomic evaluation is not needed as long as you are selecting products from the pre-approved ergonomic product catalog

  • If further guidance is needed or desired beyond the RSS Computer Ergonomics self-assessment and our website resources, you may contact your department’s designated Ergo Navigator (formerly called department ergo evaluators). If your department doesn't have an Ergo Navigator and/or you need additional guidance, you can submit an evaluation request from a campus ergonomist to the Be Well at Work - Ergonomics program via our linked online request formRemote evaluations for workstations outside of campus are conducted via Zoom.   

  • If you are interested in becoming an Ergo Navigator for your department, the Be Well at Work - Ergonomics program offers Computer Workstation Ergo Navigator workshops each semester. Visit the Computer Workstation Evaluators webpage to learn more or the Ergonomic Workshops webpage to enroll in a training.   

Step 2: Submit an application for Ergo Matching Funds 

To apply for Matching Funds, please follow this link to the online application form.  

  • Only products on the pre-approved list qualify for the UC Berkeley Ergonomics Matching Funds Program and the Be Well at Work - Ergonomics program continually assesses the list for potential additions or changes. Exceptions are only made at the discretionary recommendation of a campus ergonomist for circumstances such as medical accommodation.
  • Determine if your department wants to use Direct or Reimbursement Matching Funds.  
  • Ergonomics products can be seen and tried before purchase to ensure they are appropriate for the employee's situation. Many of these pre-approved products are at the campus Ergo Lab located in University Health Services (Tang Center).  Email ergonomics@berkeley.edu to schedule an appointment. 

Remote/Out of State Orders

For ALL Remote Order Requests 

UC Berkeley employees with an active appointment of 50% or greater who work remotely at least three full days per week qualify for ordering non-portable equipment (desk, monitor, docking station, or chair). If an employee has an active appointment of 50% or greater and is working less than three full days per week in a remote location, the purchase of non-portable equipment is at the discretion of the department. 

Note: If an employee separates from the University within two years of receiving non-portable equipment, the employee must pay the cost of returning the equipment to UC Berkeley. 

For more information regarding remote work policies, please review the Flexible Work Arrangement Toolkit. 

For Out-of-State Orders

For any employees and orders going out of state, please read the following carefully as the procedure for out-of-state orders differs from the traditional matching funds program process. 

To proceed with an out-of-state order request, please review the following criteria to qualify:

  • You must have and submit your signed Flexible Work Agreement (agreement for remote work).
  • You must work Full-Time.
  • You must have written confirmation from your supervisor to ship your order out of state.  

Additionally, please note the following considerations regarding out-of-state orders. 

  • The cost for out-of-state orders is typically higher than in-state orders due to shipping costs. 
  • The timeline for out-of-state orders is typically longer than in-state orders.

Computer Workstation Design Guidelines

Pre-approved Product List

Questions? Contact Ergonomics through email at ergonomics@berkeley.edu