From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Ergonomics- Clerical Worker

Task Prior to Abatement (Description)

Ergonomic case study for clerical worker.  Clerical workers had to perform different tasks using keyboards and applying pinch grip to remove staples. Wrist extention and applying high pressures to punch holes in papers were required to perform the tasks.

Task Prior to Abatement (Method Which Verified Hazard)

An ergonomic assessment of the workstation revealed that the job is hazardous.

Task Prior to Abatement (Method Which Identified Hazard)

Medical cases of bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis among workers. A clerical worker with bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome had repeated claim openings.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Force)

High pinch grip was required for removing staples.

Applying pressure was required to do the stapling and hole punching.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Posture)

Neck and shoulder tension were required to perform the tasks.

Awkward position of wrists while keyboarding.

Ergonomic Solution (Engineering Controls)

  1. Providing a high backed ergonomic chair with movable forearm supports to eliminate workers’ neck and shoulder tension, which were radiating into the worker’s hands while performing the tasks.
  2. Providing adjustable workstation to place the keyboard at the appropriate level.
  3. Providing an alternative split keyboard in order to keep the worker’s wrists in a neutral position while keyboarding.
  4. Placing a wrist rest under the ten key.
  5. Providing a staple remover which did not require use of the pinch grip.
  6. Providing an electric stapler and hole punch to avoid wrist extention and apply high pressures while performing these tasks.

Ergonomic Solution (Benefits)

  • All workers that perform the tasks now have reduced exposure to bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis risk factors.
  • Avoiding further disabling claims and thus reduction of workers’ compensation costs.

Ergonomic Solution (Cost)

Total cost of equipment for ergonomics improvements was $1,965.

Ergonomic Solution (Method Which Verified Effectiveness)

Elimination of further disabling claims by workers.


Many disabling claims can be avoided if corrective action is taken in time.