Ergonomics (Greek “ergon” to work, “nomos” laws)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) affect the muscles, nerves and tendons. Work related MSDs (including those of the neck, upper extremities and low back) are one of the leading causes of lost workday injury and illness. Workers in many different industries and occupations can be exposed to risk factors at work, such as lifting heavy items, bending, reaching overhead, pushing and pulling heavy loads, working in awkward body postures and performing the same or similar tasks repetitively. Exposure to these known risk factors for MSDs increases a worker's risk of injury.

Office Ergonomics

If your job involves risk factors associated with desk work and computer related activities and would like to assess your work station, use this link for a helpful tutorial on how to make adjustments:


Heavy Lifting/Materials Handling

If your job involves risk factors associated with lifting heavy objects or other materials handling tasks, follow this link to a helpful tutorial on proper lifting/moving techniques:

University of Virginia EHS Heavy Lifting Tutorial

Purchasing Ergonomic Equipment

NAU has contracted with qualified vendors that offer ergonomic furniture and other equipment (chairs, desks) departmental personnel can purchase if needed.  Follow this link to the NAU Purchasing site for vendor contact information as well as perusing the catalogs:

NAU Purchasing: Ergonomic Equipment

NAU Property Surplus

Don’t forget to check Surplus Property in Building #47A to see if any good used ergonomic equipment or furniture is on the sales floor.

Extra Help

If you need assistance in evaluating your work station or job task to determine if risk factors are still present, the NAU Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) department would be happy to perform a site-specific evaluation.  Click the "Service Request" Icon on the right side of your screen to submit an online request via the NAU EH&S portal.