Ergonomic Planning

Ergonomic planning has evolved as one of the firm's unique assets. In 1989, the firm began retaining commissions by publishing companies and newspapers to study the area of ergonomics in furniture/workstation and environmental office design. The publishing companies were aware of the accountability they had for VDT task related injuries in relation to improper equipment, non-adjustable furniture and non-user friendly environments.

FRANK & MARCOTULLIO'S ergonomic evaluation of a company's existing furniture, employee task analysis and work flow process, result in recommendations such as:

  • Cost effective reuse of existing furniture with the introduction of ergonomic accessories and adjustable chairs used in conjunction with existing furniture.
  • Replacement of portions of existing workstations pertaining to the computer use and functional use of office equipment with proper sized and adjustable worksurfaces.
  • Replanning of all workstations, work areas, filing/storage needs as ordinarily done in a standard office renovation but incorporating ergonomic solutions for workstations, lighting, finishes, and acoustics.


Ergonomics and the healthy workplace have come a long way since the 1980's when "work-related musculoskeletal disorders" (WMSD's) first were reported in the media. Although some of the standards and guidelines have not been officially required by various governmental agencies, many businesses have become pro-active by creating their own ergonomic programs.

Many businesses now offer ergonomic planning, workstation and task analysis, and ergonomic furniture, equipment and accessories to their employees to help reduce office related injuries. Training seminars have also been incorporated for proper posture and use of ergonomic products.

Defining Ergonomics and Its Legislative Impact
Ergonomics is defined as the science that explores the right relationships between people, their equipment, and the tasks they perform. OSHA defines ergonomics as the science of fitting the job to the worker. The ergonomic human factors of a healthy office are most affected by the proper adjustability of furniture and workstations. When ergonomics is neglected, there is potential for mismatch between job demands and what the human mind and body can provide. This mismatch threatens the health and safety of office workers.

Recognizing how furniture and workstation adjustability contributes to ergonomics in a healthy office environment starts with examining the types and content of guidelines that apply to adjustability. The standards and guidelines will change and evolve as the need for a healthy office environment changes and evolves.

The ANSI/HFS 100-1988 standards and guidelines published by The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and The Human Factor Society, Inc., are the most well known guidelines affecting office furniture used with video display terminals (VDT's). These guidelines set standards for the proper positioning of a VDT user and his furniture in relation to computer equipment.

The ANSI groundbreaking standards went through a series of reviews and studies to refine and consolidate the standards. A second draft was published in November 2006, “Human Factors Engineering of Computer Workstations” known as HFES 100.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. federal government list ergonomics as a key factor in preventing musculoskeletal injuries at the workplace. Musculoskeletal injuries include the overuse or incorrect use of a muscle group or joint. OSHA acts as an advocate for worker health and safety. They look for poor design of machines, improper workareas and workstations, and ineffective safety devices - anything that might be hazardous to the worker. UPDATE: OSHA was developing a proposed ergonomic protection standard for addressing ergonomic hazards in the workplace. Due to government restraints, the OSHA Ergonomic Protection Standard is on indefinite hold and may never be "officially" approved.

Repetitive motion injuries are among the fastest growing categories of workplace injuries documented by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because of the growing incidence of "white collar injuries," the elimination of improper working environments in the office has become a popular target for legislation. Laws in a number of states, provinces, and municipalities have been proposed to mandate improved working conditions in the office. Improved office ergonomics can reduce or even eliminate cumulative trauma disorders.

Ergonomic Projects

Although all of the firm's projects include the consideration of ergonomic planning when designed, these projects were designed with full ergonomic solutions requiring special environments and multiple user types.

The Buffalo News – Buffalo, NY

  • Accounting Department
  • Classified Department
  • Customer Service Department
  • New Business Development

Conde Nast Publications Inc. – New York, NY

  • Accounting Department
  • Allure Magazine

Newhouse Newspapers New Media - Jersey City, NJ

The Jersey Journal - Jersey City, NJ

  • Accounting Department
  • Art and Publication Department Expansion
  • Circulation Department
  • Computer Department
  • Editorial Department
  • Executive Offices

The Patriot-News Co. - Harrisburg, PA

  • Ad Services and Art Departments
  • Accounting Department
  • Circulation Department
  • Classified Department
  • Data Processing Department
  • Editorial Department
  • Executive Offices
  • Retail Advertising and Marketing Departments

The Plain Dealer - Cleveland, OH

  • Ergonomic Consultation

The Star Ledger - Newark, NJ

  • Credit Department

The Systems Group - Jersey City, NJ