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Lab Workstation Checklist

lab checklist
This checklist can help identify risk factors that can contribute to work-related musculoskeletal problems. Contact your supervisor to obtain help or assistance with issues that are identified.

Laboratory Benches

  • Is the height of your bench appropriate for work tasks? Precision work=above elbow height; light work=just below elbow height; heavy work=-6 inches below elbow height).
  • Do you wear supportive shoes and have a floor mat for standing tasks?
  • Can you prop up a foot on a stool or ledge when standing in one spot?
  • Do you work at a bench cut-out?
  • Does the bench have rounded or padded edges?

Bench Chair

  • Does your chair support your back while you work?
  • Does the seat and seatback tilt forward?
  • Are your feet on the floor, a foot-ring or a footrest?
  • If you have armrests, can they be adjusted to support your arms when working?


  • Can you view the eyepiece while sitting in an upright position?
  • Is the microscope pulled out to the edge of the workbench?
  • Are your arms supported and relaxed when using the microscope?


  • Are electronic, light-touch, or latch mode pipettes available for intensive pipetting?
  • Is the pipette designed for multiple finger use (instead of only the thumb)?
  • Are trays, beakers and supplies placed within easy reach?
  • Are your wrists in a straight or neutral position when working?
  • Biological Safety Cabinets:
  • Are your arms relaxed when working in the fumehood?
  • Are work supplies within easy reach in the cabinet?
  • Are vials, tubes and receptacles as low profile as possible?
  • Can you see your work without tilting your head and neck?
  • Can you alternate sitting and standing while working?


  • Can you operate your microtome with your hand in a pistol grip position?
  • Do you alternate fingers when using pinch grips or forceps?
  • Are vials easy to cap and thread?
  • Are supplies and tools within easy reach?
  • Are chemical and gas valves easy to reach and turn?
  • Are bottle dispensers and bottom dispensing carboys available to dispense liquids?
  • Are heavy bottles and boxes stored on low shelves?
  • Do you try to take a break and change tasks every 20-30 minutes?