Michigan State University

Non-Workstation Considerations

Handling Books

  • 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

Working in the Stacks

  • 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

Book Trucks

  • 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

Other Non-Work Station Considerations

  • 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 current ergo thinking

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