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ORGANIZING THE
WORK SPACE
 
"Near" work space
"Mid" work space

Overreaching is defined as reaching to such a distance that you lean forward or to the sides while fully extending your arm. Overreaching in any direction causes fatigue, reducing productivity and accuracy and increasing the risk of injury. Reduce or eliminate overreaching by rearranging the work station.

Avoid overreaching

“Near” Work space Activities

For activities performed frequently or repetitively, the work should be performed within the “near” work space, with your elbows at your sides. Within this space, you can work comfortably without stretching or leaning. Working outside this space requires you to reach, bend, twist, and so forth. These activities lead to discomfort and fatigue and can cause injuries. By working within the “near” work space, you can maximize efficiency and comfort.

"Near" work space

“Mid” Work space Activities

Activities performed occasionally can be performed in the “mid” work space (an arm’s length away); however, this requires extension of your arm. Activities performed beyond this mid-range involve leaning and reaching and should be performed rarely.

"Mid" work space

If your work space is properly organized

9a.    Reaches performed frequently are within the “near” work space (your elbows remain at your sides).
9b.    Reaches performed occasionally are within the “near” or “mid” work space (no more than an arm’s length away).
9c.    You are not reaching across your body to work.

Avoid reaching across your body
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Department of Industrial Relations   Cal/OSHA Consultation Service   Research and Education Unit