Ergonomics and Workspace

Schools can now visit the Policy and Advisory Library (PAL) for this information. This page will remain in this location but will be for corporate staff only. School staff should use PAL for all policy, procedures and other operational information.

Ergonomics is the study of how a workplace, the equipment used and the work environment itself can best be designed for comfort, efficiency, safety and productivity. Often we can improve our levels of comfort and productivity with relatively simple changes.

Although ergonomics is a broad field, the main areas of concern for the Department's workplaces and employees will relate to:

  • workstations (sitting and standing)
  • equipment layout and operation
  • noise
  • lighting
  • thermal comfort
  • manual handling
  • psychological hazards (e.g. work pressure)

Relevant sections of the OHSMS


 Hygiene Management Procedure

 Workstation Risk Assessment

Working from Home Safely and Productively


​Working from Home Guide


Ergonomic hazard identification and risk assessment

If an ergonomic issue is identified it should be reported to the Health and Safety Representative and/or Workplace Manager. The risk should then be assessed in consultation with the relevant employee(s) to identify controls to eliminate or reduce the risk using one of the following templates:

In assessing the risk, the frequency and duration of exposure should be established to determine how to best control the hazard. Some example controls may include:

  • elimination (e.g. job re-design)
  • substitution (e.g. replace a telephone headset with a wireless headset)
  • isolation (e.g. locating the photocopier in a separate, well ventilated room away from employees)
  • engineering (e.g. providing noise barriers in a technology room)
  • administration (e.g. complete the ergonomics eLearning modules).

The Workplace Manager in consultation with the relevant employee is to review the controls implemented to ensure their effectiveness in managing the risk.

The OHS Advisory Service on ph. 1300 074 715 for further advice or information.


Workstation assessment

Prior to requesting a workstation assessment employees are to:

  1. Complete the Department's Ergonomics eLearning module
  2. Complete the Workstation Risk Assessment and implement relevant controls

If controls implemented are not adequate please contact the OHS Advisory Service on 1300 074 715 or email for further information and advice.

Legislation, guidance and Codes of Practice

Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017

Australian Standard AS 1680.1: 2006 Interior and Workplace Lighting - General Principles and Recommendations

Australian Standard AS 1680.2.2: 2008 Interior and Workplace Lighting - Specific Applications - Office and screen-based tasks

Australian Standard AS 1668.2: 2012 The Use of Ventilation and Air-conditioning in Buildings - Mechanical Ventilation in Buildings

Contact us

OHS Advisory Service on 1300 074 715 or email

Further information

WorkSafe Victoria - Officewise – A Guide to Health and Safety in the Office