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Step 2: Job Analysis

Figure 10Once you know which workers are affected, the next step is to figure out why the work is causing pain and injuries. You need to find the “risk factors” for the jobs. REMEMBER: Look at all the duties in a person’s job, not just the computer tasks! 


If you see any of the following conditions in your workplace, it is very likely that workers are already being injured or will soon develop problems. Your employer should take prompt action to correct these situations. 

Figure 8

  • Wrists bent backward while keying. See Figure 8.
  • Shoulder and arm reaching for the keyboard or mouse. See Figure 9.
  • Neck tilted backward while viewing monitor. See Figure 10.
  • Continuous or frequent keystrokes, mousing and other movements that put a strain on the hands, wrists or other parts of the body (repetition rate).
  • Spending a majority of the workday keying, typing or doing other work that requires repetitious movements or forceful exertions of the arms and hands (duration).

Figure 9

  • A lack of breaks and other periods of work when an employee is not using the computer or doing similar work such as typing (recovery time).
  • Jobs in which workers must cope with unreasonable workloads, rotating shifts, electronic monitoring and a lack of control over the way they do their work (psychosocial factors).
  • A keyboard that requires a “heavy touch” to depress the keys or pressure on a worker’s wrists from pressing against the surface or edge of a desk or other piece of equipment (force).
  • Workers wearing wrist braces at work, regularly taking pain medication or being treated by a doctor for a musculoskeletal disorder.
  • Wrists pressing against a desk or other surface that has hard and/or sharp edges (contact stress).

The checklist on the next page can be used to conduct a more thorough job analysis to help you figure out what is causing problems.

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