Michigan State University

Non-Workstation Considerations


  • do not grab too many books at once
  • use two hands if lifting heavy books
  • hold books close to your body
  • use your entire hand(s) when grabbing books - avoid the pinch grip
  • do not twist your body, take a step and turn instead


  • do not reach over your head, use a step stool
  • do not bend over when reaching low, squat or sit on the step stool and keep your back straight
  • alternate between your left and right hand when shelving
  • wear closed toe shoes
  • work in pairs if possible, especially when working with books on the higher shelves


  • push book trucks from the end not the side
  • go at a normal pace
  • keep your wrists straight
  • keep the truck close to your body but allow enough space for your feet
  • push book trucks except when going through doors
  • when pulling a book truck keep it close enough so that your arms are not fully extended
  • pull book trucks when exiting elevators or going through swinging doors
  • do not use a damaged book truck, wheels should turn and rotate freely
  • do not completely fill up a truck, keep it light enough to be moved easily
  • if a book truck, falls let it fall. Do NOT try to catch it. Get out of the way.
  • CAUTION: some book trucks have four wheels that turn instead of two


  • vary your work tasks, do not do the same thing for hours on end
  • take frequent microbreaks to prevent fatigue, stretch, focus your eyes on something else
  • work at a comfortable pace
  • do not repeatedly use forceful exertions in your work tasks*
  • have minimal contact with sharp and/or hard edges and surfaces*
  • do not perform work tasks at the end of your range of movement, example: lifting things with your arms fully extended*

Note*: from http://office-ergo.com/alternat.htm

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