Ergonomics and workspace

Principals and school staff must follow the Ergonomics and Workspace Policy, Ergonomics and Workspace Procedure and Resource section which are available in the Policy and Advisory Library (PAL).

Corporate and regional staff should refer to the following 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 Department 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 (HSR) and/or workplace manager.

The risk should then be assessed in consultation with the relevant employee 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 electric sit/stand workstations)
  • administration (e.g. complete the ergonomics eLearning module).

The workplace manager in consultation with the HSR and relevant employee is to review the controls implemented to ensure their effectiveness in managing the risk.

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 compliance codes

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  • Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017

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.