Computers and a host of peripheral devices dominate most workstations these days. The benefits of building ergonomic principles into their design include increased productivity and more comfort and safety for users. On November 16 the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) announced a New American Standard for computer workstation design. It is aimed at delivering those benefits.
ANSI/HFES 100-2007, Human Factors Engineering of Computer Workstations, which has been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), incorporates some of the elements of an earlier version of the standard. The content and breadth of ANSI/HFES 100-2007 address the advances in technology since the earlier version, as well as the new, dynamic demands on computer workspaces. Previously, keyboards were the only input devices discussed. The new standard discusses many types of input and pointing devices, and the displays chapter has been expanded to cover color and flat-panel equipment.
The revised document also guides designers on how to accommodate variations in the size of individual users and variations in the ways the workstations are used. New methodologies for utilizing anthropometric data are incorporated, delivering increased accuracy in the specifications for workspace dimensions.
In the previous version of the standard, only one reference posture, upright seated, was discussed. This sometimes led to the mistaken conclusion that it was the only correct working posture. In the revised version, four primary reference postures are covered — upright seated, reclined seated, declined seated, and standing – and the guidance incorporates the expected postures for the legs, trunk and other body parts.
ANSI/HFES 100-2007 may be purchased online at the web site of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, a multidisciplinary professional association of more than 4,700 persons in the United States and throughout the world.
Source: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society