Blog Posts

BIG Picture Ergonomics: Create Strategic Partnerships

October 8, 2019

If ergonomics is part of your job, you already know that people make great work happen.

A wider understanding of the full scope of the discipline will make your work easier and more sustainable. Expanding your ergonomics skills is your ticket to the next level.

Ergonomics promotes a holistic approach which considers physical, cognitive, social, organizational, environmental, and other relevant factors.

HOW do we get there at work?


Protecting Outdoor Workers from Wildfire Smoke

January 14, 2020

The 2019 wildfire season was not as active as 2018, however, there were still 46,706 recorded wildfires from January 1 to November 22, 2019 (National Interagency Fire Center), burning about 4.6 million acres.

As wildfires ravage California and other states throughout the US, they take a serious toll on our land and more importantly, our health. According to the CDC, exposure to wildfire smoke can cause chest pain and asthma attacks, with many people...

The Roles of Health and Fitness on Occupational Performance and Injury Prevention in Firefighters

February 11, 2020

NORA Interdisciplinary Seminar

Thursday, March 26, 2020

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Eastern

Presented by: Eric Ryan, PhD Department of Exercise and Sport Science

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Please join the North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center for the Spring 2020 NORA Seminar Series.

Their first presentation will be on Thursday, March 26th,...

N95 shortage Op-Ed by COEH Director featured on Washington Post

April 3, 2020

Mask shortages are outrageous. The federal government needs to do better

By Dr. John R. Balmes

Director of the Center of Occupational and Environmental Health

Published on The Washington Post on April 2, 2020

As hospitals and care...

COEH Student Action: Ericka Ledesma shares on experience at the UCSF COVID-19 Call Center

April 6, 2020

Many UCSF School of Nursing students and faculty are helping out in the community through their work at the UCSF COVID-19 call center. Ericka Ledesma, a 2nd year student in COEH's OEHN Nurse Practitioner program, is one of those participating at the call center. Below, she takes a moment to share her thoughts on her experience. More on this call...

COVID-19 Ergonomics Summit: Guidelines for Safe and Healthy Work from Home

April 14, 2020

Join COEH Ergonomics Instructors Melissa Afterman and Michelle Robertson at the COVID-19 Ergonomics Summit on April 15, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to progress globally, the number of people working and schooling from home is unprecedented. This rapid transition to remote schooling and work presents unique ergonomics challenges that must be addressed.

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society ( is producing a one-day ergonomics summit on April 15, 2020 featuring a group of seven renowned ergonomics experts who will...

What is Anthropometry? Data Driven Design.

August 3, 2020

Anthropometry is the systematic measurement of the physical properties of the human body.

Measurements like eye height, the distance from the floor to a person’s eyes, can be taken sitting or standing. Other measurements include elbow height, hip breadth, overall stature, knuckle height, and popliteal height, or the distance from the floor to the back of the knee.

These measurements play an important role in the design of architecture, furniture, tools, cars, clothes and more to fit the human body. For example, the height and width of a...

COVID-19 Antibody Study: San Francisco Fire Department

January 27, 2021

First responders, including firefighters and paramedics, risk exposure to COVID-19 as a part of their jobs. To better quantify this risk and the effectiveness of workplace protections, more than 1,200 San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) active members were tested for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in June 2020. This study was particularly important because there is relatively little data about the effects of COVID-19 on urban front-line workers.

According to study coordinator Megan Grant, MS, RN, NP, “One of the really important...

Congratulations to Alejandra Domenzain & LOHP: Grant from The Workers Lab

January 27, 2021

Alejandra was awarded a grant from The Workers Lab for her project Building a Strategic Partnership for OSH Enforcement. The project will connect worker organizations focused on immigrants, low-wage workers, undocumented workers, and people of color who are exposed to health hazards with Cal/OSHA, California’s worker protection enforcement agency.

According to Alejandra, “Too many employers have violated health and safety laws with impunity. This project will test an innovative model that builds worker capacity, voice, and power to make...

COVID-19 Impact on Farmworkers

February 5, 2021

In July 2020, a collaborative effort between Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas (CSVS) and the UC Berkeley School of Public Health was launched to understand the extent and causes of SARS-CoV-2 infection among California farmworkers in the Salinas Valley, also known as the ‘Salad Bowl of the Nation.’ This study was the first long-term study on the prevalence of, and risk factors for, COVID-19 among California...