The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, provides no exact measurement requirements for cubicles in the workplace environment. However, the standards require employers and businesses to promote an ergonomically friendly environment to reduce the potential of employee injury.
OSHA’s ergonomic guidelines require the cubicle to comfortably provide enough space for the user and his office equipment. The space must provide ample room for movement and ample clearance for legs and feet. The distance between the under-surfaces of the table must provide ample clearance for the user’s thighs when seated at the table or workstation.
The cubicle’s workstation must provide the user with a comfortable, ergonomically friendly posture when seated. An ergonomically friendly working posture allows the user’s skeleton to be naturally aligned. To promote this, the wrists, hands and forearms must near a parallel position to the floor, the head must be straight and forward-facing, the shoulders must hang naturally from the body and the elbows must rest at an angle between 90 and 120 degrees.
The workstation’s equipment must be placed to promote natural movement within the neutral, ergonomically friendly positions. The computer monitor must rest at least 20 inches from the user’s eyes and be positioned at eye level. The keyboard should be placed directly in front of the user, with the mouse close by to reduce the potential of awkward posture and shoulder exertion. Keyboard and mouse pads should be placed underneath the equipment to reduce contact stress of the user’s wrists. Document holders must be placed at monitor level or between the monitor and keyboard to eliminate head and neck stress and strain.
Desk and Chair Requirements
The cubicle’s desk must allow the user to comfortably complete more than one task. OSHA recommends the corner desk environment because it provides a computer work zone, along with, at least, two additional work zones. The chair must promote an ergonomically friendly posture, with adjustable armrests and 360-degree swivel for easy workstation access.
- U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Good Working Positions
- U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Selecting and Arranging Your Workstation Components
- U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Computer Workstations Checklist
- U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Computer Workstations
- University of Waterloo Safety Office: Office Ergonomics Guide
Writing professionally since 2004, Charmayne Smith focuses on corporate materials such as training manuals, business plans, grant applications and technical manuals. Smith's articles have appeared in the "Houston Chronicle" and on various websites, drawing on her extensive experience in corporate management and property/casualty insurance.