Committee Chair

West, Judy F.

Committee Member

Nixon, Judy


Dept. of Education


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


This study was undertaken to determine whether employers in the Chattanooga, TN, area are following generally accepted ergonomic guidelines for VDT use and to determine whether ergonomic practices are solving health and safety complaints associated with VDT use.The primary objective was to gain data to determine whether employers are aware and concerned about the well-being of VDT users and whether accepted ergonomic guidelines, work practices, and equipment improvements are implemented that can help ensure the safety and comfort of the employee. Secondary objectives included:(1)to determine the specialized equipment and practices used by firms to accommodate VDT users;(2)to determine whether special provisions are made for pregnant VDT users; (3) to determine whether companies are implementing special policies and training to promote the safety and comfort of VDT users;and (4) to determine the extent of union concern with problems related to VDT use.Data were gathered through the use of personal interviews, telephone interviews, and mailed questionnaires. Interviews were conducted with 30 VDT users performing a variety of functions. Telephone interviews were conducted with 12 VDT supervisors, and questionnaires were returned by 38 VDT operators and 16 VDT supervisors.Major findings (including the review of the literature) revealed:1.Radiation emission levels of all types have proven to be below accepted standards of exposure.2.The most common problems reported with VDT use were visual complaints, musculoskeletal complaints, and stress-related complaints which appeared to be a result of ergonomic factors.3.One of the foremost needs concerning VDT use was to provide educational material and programs for VDT users.4.Companies/manufacturers were implementing a significant number of the recommended ergonomic features into their workstation designs.5. Companies were implementing a significant number of the "add-on"features for the comfort and health of employees.6. Common complaints of VDT users occurred even though recommended guidelines were generally being implemented.7.Users of VDT terminals continued to associate vision changes with their use of the VDT.8 No company surveyed had special provisions for pregnant VDT users.The conclusions based upon findings purported that corrective measures had generally been adopted by work station designers and employers ofVDTs but that additional study was warranted in this controversial area. Claims of prejudicial or incomplete research were common in the past, and extreme care must be taken to preserve the credibility of future studies. The researcher also suggested that the curriculum for courses with VDT applications should incorporate VDT health and safety issues.


Sincere appreciation is expressed to the chairperson of this thesis, Dr.Judy West, for the encouragement, suggestions and assistance she has given. Many thanks to Dr. Judy C. Nixon for her suggestions and for serving as a committee member.Appreciation is expressed to Juanita Wilkey, Lee Wilkey,and my husband, Mac, for their assistance in distributing questionnaires and collating the data from this study.The writer expresses gratitude to the VDT operators and supervisors for their courteous and professional cooperation.Grateful heartfelt appreciation is given to my mother, Mrs. Betty C.Thomas, for her babysitting and encouragement without which this study could not have been completed.


M. Ed.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Education.




Video display terminals--Safety regulations; Computer terminals--Safety regulations; Human engineering


Vocational Education

Document Type

Masters theses




ix, 77 leaves



Call Number

LB2369.2 .W54 1988