SAIC environmental health and safety policies and procedures for faculty, staff, and students are designed to promote safe and healthy working and classroom environments. For questions and inquiries regarding these policies and procedures, please contact the Environmental Health and Safety office.

What is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics is the science of designing your workspace or job to fit you rather than physically forcing your body to fit the job. Adapting tasks, workstations, tools, and equipment to fit you can help to reduce physical stress on your body and eliminate many potentially disabling work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

What are Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)?

MSDs are injuries and disorders of soft tissue—muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, and nervous system. They most frequently involve the wrists, elbows, arms, back, neck, shoulders, and legs. MSDs have a range of causes depending on your age, type of work performed, duration of work performed, activity level, and lifestyle. These injuries generally develop over weeks, months, and years.

What causes work-related MSDs?

Conditions that are likely to cause MSDs include:

How to Request an Ergonomic Assessment

SAIC offers ergonomic assessments to assist in the prevention of work-related MSDs.

Below is the procedure for requesting an ergonomic assessment:

Purchase of Equipment

If the ergonomic assessment findings indicate recommendations to purchase new equipment to alleviate or prevent a work-related musculoskeletal disorder, the equipment will be provided at no cost to the department. However, if there are no recommendations but the employee would like new office equipment, the respective department must approve and purchase the equipment.

Injury and Illness Reporting

In the event that you believe you are experiencing pain and discomfort related to your workstation set-up or a specific work related task, report the injury to your supervisor and complete an injury and illness report.

Ergonomic Information
Ergo Gear Guide
The Four Pillars of Ergonomics

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Introduction to Indoor Air Quality

Good indoor air quality depends on adequate ventilation, control of airborne contaminants, and maintenance of acceptable temperatures and relative humidity. Indoor air quality concerns can range from nuisance odors and uncomfortable temperatures to more complex situations dealing with microbiological contaminants or outdoor air pollutants and dust.

How to Address Air Quality Concerns

  1. If the air quality concern is temperature or mechanical in nature place a 360 Work Request or contact the IRFM (Instructional Resources and Facilities Management) help line at 9-4291
  2. If the air quality concern is health related (i.e., odors are causing a physiological response), contact the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) for an IAQ investigation or call Campus Security at 312.899.1230, or press the red emergency button on any house phone.
    • EHS will work with IRFM staff to determine the source of the IAQ issue.
    • EHS will log the issue in 360 Incident System.
    • EHS will determine if any air quality sampling is needed and make arrangements for the collection of samples and laboratory analysis.
    • A written summary outlining the findings of the initial investigation and any relevant recommendations will be completed by EHS and provided to the appropriate parties.
  3. If indoor air quality related issues results in temporarily relocating staff or time off, EHS or a designate will coordinate the appropriate accommodation with IRFM and Human Resources.

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Hazard Communication Program—Introduction

The purpose of SAICs Hazard Communication Program is to ensure that all SAIC faculty, staff, and student workers are informed about the identity and hazards of chemicals in their work areas and know how to handle them safely. This program applies to all SAIC employees with the exception of those working in classroom and shop areas. Chemical use in fabrication studios, laboratories, and shops is covered by department-specific Chemical Hygiene Programs.


Program Requirements

Program Maintenance

This program shall be reviewed and updated a minimum of once each year by the Associate Director of EHS.

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