Ergonomics is the study of the interaction between human beings, their work, the tools they use, and the environment in which they function. The goal of ergonomics is to work towards a safe & healthful work environment free from recognized hazards by fitting the job to the person rather than making the person fit the job. The Oregon OSHA (OR-OSHA) document Easy Ergonomics: A Practical Approach for Improving the Workplace provides an introduction to ergonomics, describes the benefits and factors that may contribute to work task problems, provides examples of ergonomic improvements, a problem-solving exercise, and other ergonomics-related resources.

How do I...?

Request an ergonomic assessment of my workstation?

OSU has implemented a new ergonomic program. We have partnered with SAIF to bring Ergopoint to the OSU community. Please contact OSU Occupational Safety to request a login.

If you already have a login you can go to: After you have gone through the training and if you still need assistance getting your workplace adjusted you are more than welcome to reach out for an in person ergonomic assessment.

WA State Dept. of Labor and Industries - Office Ergonomics: Practical Solutions for a Safer Workplace


EH&S, in partnership with SAIF Corp., offers Safety in Motion® (eSIM®) training free to all campus employees. SIM4® techniques are proven to reduce physical stress and strain, boost balance and strength, and improve productivity. Participants learn to make simple, practical changes in the way they reach, lift, carry, push, or pull. These changes make most tasks both easier and safer, on or off the job, and improve our quality of life.

We would like to officially introduce you to a new online Safety in Motion (eSIM®) course available to you. This is a NEW easy and convenient way train staff about practical field ergonomics and proper body mechanics. By improving physical technique staff can reduce unnecessary stress on the body and prevent soft tissue injuries.

As you share this content with your employees, please keep in mind the following:

•    Safety In Motion® is a registered trademark program. SAIF has an agreement to provide eSIM® for our policyholders and their staff only. Please do not share these materials with anyone other than your employees and instruct your employees to do the same.
•    These links will change at least every two years. At that time, new links will be sent to those who have requested them and are still active SAIF policyholders.
•    Safety In Motion® is one part of a quality ergonomics program. If you need assistance with other aspects of ergonomics or safety, please contact us; we are happy to help.

Additional workplace safety and training resources can also be found at Free trainings (

Course #1: Safety In Motion® Position Elbows Closer™ 15 minutes (English and Spanish)

Learn all about leverage and how we can improve leverage by making small practical changes in technique. This topic will define three different leverage zones and options that allow us to work in a better leverage zone. Using the technique of Position Elbows Closer™ we can help protect our shoulders and back when doing everyday tasks. Brought to you by SAIF.

Course #2: Safety In Motion® Use Mid-range Wrist Motions™ 15 minutes (English and Spanish)

Learn how to align your hands, wrist, and forearms for more strength and less stress. This topic will explain the natural structural support of your hands, wrist, and forearm muscles and introduce physical technique options to boost performance.
Also, learn the difference between dynamic warm-up and static stretching and when best to use each. Brought to you by SAIF.

Course #3: Safety In Motion® Leg Strength and Balance™ 15 minutes (English and Spanish)

Learn how to use your legs for strength and balance. This topic will introduce two practical techniques to reduce stress and help you feel better at the end of the day. Same Side Hand and Foot™ will help you reach farther with less stress on your shoulder and back and Point Your Toe and Go® can help eliminate stressful twisting and bending postures, protecting vulnerable body parts like the low back and knees. Brought to you by SAIF.

Course #4: Safety In Motion® Lifting Options Technique and Pace™ 15 minutes (English and Spanish)

This topic will combine the previous Safety in Motion® learning and apply it to the task of lifting. We will examine both one and two-handed lifting and the techniques used for each. Additionally, we will briefly discuss assessing the load and yourself, what lifting options should be considered before lifting, and the importance of a good lifting pace. Brought to you by SAIF.


Additional Resources

Remote Work

OSHA Computer Workstations eTool
Webinar: Working from Home - Things You Need to Know

Office Ergonomics

SAIF Documents

Workstation Self-Assessment
Workstation Comfort
Neutral Posture Poster
Workstation Leverage Zones
The Value of Warm-up Exercises
Strengthen and Lengthen
Stand Up for Health

Laboratory Ergonomics
Federal OSHA’s Laboratory Safety Ergonomics for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders provides general laboratory ergonomic guidance to help address the potential risk for repetitive motion injuries associated with routine procedures such as pipetting, working at microscopes, operating microtomes, and using cell counters, among other things.

Vehicle Use
Whether at work or home, sitting for long hours gripping the steering wheel can contribute to back pain, and road vibration can make matters worse. Having to step up to get into large vehicles and equipment has additional ergonomic considerations. The following links provide steps you can take to reduce your chances of suffering from driving and other vehicle - related problems.

SAIF3 is Key: Safe entry and exit
Loughborough University, UKVehicle Ergonomics: Best Practice Guide

Equipment Selection
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) booklet, is 20-page booklet, Easy Ergonomics: A Guide to Selecting Non-Powered Hand Tools provides guidance on selecting ergonomically-designed, non-powered hand tools. A checklist is provided to help compare similar tools, so that you can select the tool that will work best for your situation.

Space Design
Allsteel Inc.’s Ergonomics and Design: A Reference Guide discusses the relationship between ergonomics and design, including anthropometric measurements, common workplace postures, common workplace motions, office furniture guidelines for fit and function, and universal design considerations.

Material Handling
The Cal-OSHA sponsored Ergonomic Guidelines for Manual Material Handling booklet will help you to recognize high-risk work tasks and choose effective options for reducing their physical demands.

The CDC / NIOSH booklet Simple Solutions: Ergonomics for Construction Workers provides simple solutions for floor and ground-level work; overhead work; lifting, holding, and handling materials; and hand-intensive work.