SBCC Ergonomics Program

The purpose of an ergonomics program is to apply ergonomic principles to the workplace in an effort to reduce the frequency and severity of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), thus decreasing workers’ compensation claims and, where possible, increase productivity, quality, and efficiency. An ergonomically sound work environment maximizes employee comfort while minimizing the risk of undue physical stress.

A proactive approach focuses on making changes when risks have already been identified, as well as incorporating ergonomics into the design phase of a new facility or process, into purchasing new equipment or tools, and into the contemplation of scheduling changes. This program applies to all work operations. SBCC’s Risk Manager coordinates all safety and health programs. They review the ergonomics program and provides guidance, as needed. Under this program, the Risk Manager or designee will evaluate positions which they have identified as having “problem areas” and develop and implement solutions to reduce job-related worker injury and/or illness.

SBCC has implemented this ergonomics program at all campus locations to address the challenges of MSDs as they have become an issue of increasing concern because they continue to rise in occurrence.

The goal of SBCC’s ergonomics program is to prevent the occurrence of work-related MSDs by controlling or eliminating the risk factors which may cause them. This program ensures that all affected employees are aware of job-related risk factors and provides information and solutions to alleviate them. SBCC promotes continuous ergonomic improvement to achieve efficiency, comfort and well-being for all employees with the combined efforts of management and employees.

If after reading this program, you find improvements can be made, please contact the Risk Manager. We encourage all suggestions because we are committed to the success of our ergonomics program. We strive for clear understanding, safe and efficient work practices, and involvement in the program from every level of our campus community.

Microlearning Series: Working Remotely

Rest Breaks
Short, frequent rest breaks are more beneficial than longer, more infrequent ones. Sitting for more than an hour without moving can put stress on the body due to the static posture that you are forced to sustain. Breaks can be as simple as standing up and walking around your desk three times. When you sit back down, you’ll be in a completely new posture. It is recommended to take about 20 seconds to 1 minute of break every 30 minutes. A breaktimer is a useful tool to incorporate. 


Here are some tension-relieving stretches that you can do throughout the day. You don’t need to do all of them at once, but it would be beneficial to do them at the beginning of each day, and during each 15-minute break. 

Stretches (Handout)

Customize Your Workstation (Handout)

Management Leadership: SBCC management has committed to the ergonomics program by pledging philosophical support for the identification and control of ergonomic risk factors. Management supports an effective MSD reporting system and will respond promptly to reports. Management is responsible for informing the Risk Manager of any reports of ergonomic needs or employee reports of discomfort related to the work environment and MSD’s.

Employee: All employees are responsible for reporting any signs or symptoms of MSD’s to their supervisor, completing ergonomics training via Keenan Safe Colleges online and for following proper work practices. When provided, using the appropriate tools, equipment, parts, materials and procedures in the manner established by management. Ensuring equipment is properly maintained in good condition and when it is not, report it immediately. Taking responsibility for their personal health and safety.

Risk Manager: The Risk Manager or designee is responsible for evaluating and monitoring the ergonomics program including: assessing the nature and extent of ergonomic hazards, recommending ways of minimizing or controlling these hazards, and supporting the District in consultation and direction regarding ergonomics. The Risk Management department is also responsible for ensuring ergonomic training is available to all employees, ensuring a system is in place for employees to report MSD signs or symptoms and suspected work-related risk factors to management.

Triggers for a worksite evaluation:

  • When an employee reports general MSD symptoms.
  • Jobs, processes, or work activities where work-related ergonomic risk factors have been identified which may cause or aggravate MSDs.
  • Any change of jobs, tasks, equipment, tools, processes, scheduling, or changes in work shift hours (for example, going from a traditional 5 day, 8 hour shift to a compressed 4 day, 10 hour shift).
  • When a safety walk-through or scheduled inspection or survey has uncovered potential MSD hazards.
  • Work-related risk factors to be considered in the evaluation process include, but are not limited to:
  • Physical risk factors including: force, postures (E.G., awkward, static), static loading, sustained exertion, fatigue, repetition, contact stress, extreme temperatures, and vibration.
  • Administrative issues including job rotation/enlargement, inadequate staffing, excessive overtime, inadequate or lack of rest breaks, stress from deadlines, lack of training, work pace, work methods, and psychosocial issues.
  • Environmental risk factors including noise, lighting, glare, air quality, temperature, humidity, and personal protective equipment and clothing.
  • Combinations of the above risk factors.
  • Worksite evaluations will be scheduled based upon the following:
  • Any job, process, operation, or workstation which has contributed to a worker’s current MSD.
  • A job, process, operation, or workstation that has historically contributed to MSDs.
  • Specific jobs, processes, operations, or workstations that have potential to cause MSDs.
  • Various methods will be used to evaluate problematic worksites including:
  • Walk-through and observations
  • Employee interviews
  • Surveys and questionnaires
  • Checklists

The employee must complete ergonomic training via Keenan Safe Colleges and at least one criteria below must be met.

  1. A worksite evaluation must be completed and include a furniture recommendation.

  2. Employee must provide Human Resources with a doctor’s note which specifies furniture needed.

  3. Has been verified that current task chair is older than 10 years and desk is older than 20 years.

  4. Furniture is irreparably broken and/or not all adjustments work properly.

  5. Pose a safety hazard to users.

When an employee requests new furniture and they do not currently meet the criteria, their request will be considered at the end of the fiscal year if funds remain available for ergonomic purposes. This list will carry over into the next fiscal year and be reevaluated at the end of the year.

There is a budget allocated to purchase new or replacement furniture for ergonomic purposes. The budget resides with the Risk Management department.