A revised computer workstation design and configuration standard (ANSI/HFES 100-2007), approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and published in 2007 by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), provides updated criteria for workstation layout, furniture, and equipment design specifications as they apply to office ergonomics and replaces standard HFS 100-1988. Although, this is not an enforceable safety standard, in any affected workplace, Cal/OSHA can enforce elements of the standard under section 6400 (the general duty clause) of the California Labor Code.
The goal of this standard is to improve the interface between computer workstation users and their equipment and furniture and to offer specifications and guidelines to manufacturers and designers of computer equipment and furniture. Additionally, the standard provides direction and guidance to those responsible for evaluating computer workstations and serves as a resource to Information Technology, MIS, or Purchasing/Procurement Departments for selecting appropriate equipment and furniture for their users.
The recommendations contained in this standard were determined following an evaluation of previous HFS 100-1988 requirements and were validated by evidence-based, scientific research. The standard also addresses issues presented by technologies that have emerged since the 1988 standard including input devices like the mouse, track balls, joysticks, light pen, and tablets. There are some areas of exposure the standard does not address such as the use of laptop computers, voice-activated software, and workstations for individuals with physical or cognitive disabilities.
ANSI/HFES 100-2007 contains the words should and shall (the accepted terminology for enforcement of safety standards as applied by Cal/OSHA in Title 8 regulations) and outlines performance-based recommendations that have significant relevance for designers and manufacturers of computers, equipment, and furniture. Some organizations may choose to use the standard as a reference for workstation set-up or evaluations and enforce it internally.
Key areas of the standard are covered in the following sections and apply to most computer workstations:
Under Installed Systems, there are four different reference postures presented (see below) that offer a range of acceptable postures, acknowledging that computer users frequently change postures to maintain comfort and productivity. Chair manufacturers, however, must design their products to accommodate at least two of the three referenced seated postures.
Here are other examples of the standard’s recommended specifications:
If you wish to purchase a copy of the ANSI/HFES 100-2007 standard, go to: http://www.hfes.org/publications/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=69
The above evaluations and/or recommendations are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon for legal compliance purposes. They are based solely on the information provided to us and relate only to those conditions specifically discussed. We do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, that your workplace is safe or healthful or that it complies with all laws, regulations or standards.