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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 28, 2007 5:13 PM. The previous post in this blog was Ain't never caught a rabbit. The next post in this blog is By the banks of her own lagoon. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mousepads not included

Here's a doozy from the City of Portland. They just put out a bid notice for an "Annual Supply of Adjustable Keyboard Trays." The cost estimate: $100,000! The detailed bid document looks as though it's for 600 trays, plus "installation" for 200. That would work out to $167 per keyboard tray. Wow.

Comments (27)

A decent adjustable keyboard tray costs over $200 at Office Depot (installation not included):

http://www.officedepot.com/ddSKU.do?level=SK&id=704400&Ntt=keyboard%20tray&uniqueSearchFlag=true&An=text

Proper workplace ergonomics are far less expensive than repetitive stress injuries.

Gol-ly,

My keyboard don't even have a tray, never mind one o'them adjustable ones.

I gotta get me a gubmint job.

Lord only knows what else I been missin'.

Do they wear out in a year? Why the "annual supply" bit? And are adjustable keyboard trays really necessary to prevent workplace injuries?

But you don't get "installation services." Apparently the city doesn't have anyone on staff capable of installing these complex pieces of equipment!

High time for a "Keyboard Installation Facilitator" position.

I'm thinking $78K/year.

Since we're flush and all.

Of course, the actual "Certified Keyboard Installer" will be a separate position - or, more likely, positions.

BTW, It's snowing pretty hard here, right now.

Jack,
Did you have to do anything special to be listed as a vendor on that bid solicitation?
Seems like an interesting sideline...

I will do that for 52,122.

Why not just get a wholesale price from Office Depot (or similar) if they know what they're willing to pay?

I would be happy to "install" keyboards at the rate of $30/each (plus mileage, of course).

All you guys submitting off-line bids, please remember to certify that you will pay a living wage, and detail what your health care package is like.

Tip to all you Certified Adjustable Keyboard Tray Installers IIIs please don't forget prevailing wage values.

It wouldn't be the SEIU thing to do.

Dinged my thumb and asked for one at my corporate gig. I'd be surprised if it wasn't that expensive or more with the cool ergo furnature we had. They also contracted in an ergo assessment expert to analyze my work style and furniture needs. Any manager could request that evaluation and workspace redesign. Keeping your butt happily in the seat longer feeds the bottomline and repetitive stress injuries are ugly long-term expenses that they try to avoid. Could be penny wise????

Hate to say it, but that is very likely to be a decent price. I'd be shocked if the ones in our (private) office cost less. Installation price may be high, but if it includes retrofitting existing furniture and some ergo training, it may be pretty reasonable.

Funny, mine works just fine right there on the desk. Better too, for me anyway. Those trays are always too low for me, and the desktop is just the right height to keep my wrists straight. No injuries.

The cubes in my office come with the trays under the desk, but its more a knee-killer than anything else.

Those trays are worth more than my computer.

Six hundred trays a year seems like a lot. What does the city do with the old ones when it changes out people's keyboards?

I'm sure the purchase and installation price will be carefully and painstakenly negotiated for the best price.
Portland deserves quality tray.

Do they wear out in a year?

Definitely not. I've had the same one in my office for over seven years.

Why the "annual supply" bit?

My guess is there are a lot of city desk jockeys with really crappy (or no) keyboard trays, and it's going to take a few years to get everybody a decent, ergonomically correct workstation.

And are adjustable keyboard trays really necessary to prevent workplace injuries?

For somebody who types four or more hours a day and isn't the exact right height for a stationary tray, yes.

Sheesh. I'm at the 'board way more than that every day, and I don't have trays of any kind. Maybe the barbiturates are warding off the injuries...

If you've got, say 1000 workers, all with crappy ergonomics, some percentage will get repetitive stress injuries. If you give them all proper ergonomics, a smaller percentage will get repetitive stress injuries.

A couple hundred clams per head is pretty cheap preventive medicine, when you consider the alternative.

Well, I hate to admit it, but I do have a pretty nice ergonomic keyboard tray at work, which has completely made pain in my wrists disappear. The brand name on the keyboard leads here:

http://www.situsinc.com/apobpg.htm

The list price for the KBT is $318. I like it so much I built a homemade version of it for home.

Ergonomics is a big thing now, I think the company I work for pays about that or more for keyboard trays and installation. To properly use a keyboard tray you have to then raise the desk to the correct height, which if you don't have a height adjustable desk could entail using deskalators.(http://www.safety.duke.edu/Ergonomics/Catalog/deskalators.asp) They seem expensive for chunks of plastic to raise a piece of furniture.

In looking through the awards I saw this one #107965 "CONSTRUCTION SITE SPOILS DISPOSAL" that looked interesting.

Why would you want to dispose of your spoils? ;)

We used to get the ones that PMG linked to, but we now get ones from this company: http://www.ergodesigninc.com/2kseries.html

Mister Tee, I'll underbid you for installation @ $28.00 per board. Mine involved four screws, and with my illegal @ $10/hr. taking max 20 min per board, I'll be clearing $74 dollars per hr. less my taxes-but none for the illegal. City won't ask the illegal for papers-that's politically incorrect.

Fat cats.

Its the chair.

I use a TV Dinner Tray, off to my right, and it relieved both neck and shoulder strain. (Cost me 5 bucks at Goodwill and has a flat wood top.)

If my chair were one of those chairs that are made with bosses in mind (like baby food that mom's taste test) then it would force the little workers to have to sit upright rather than tip back so as to ergonomically prop one's feet and legs up in the most comfortable manner. A foot rest would be good, or a discarded box.

My chair cost 6 bucks at Value Village. If I had to sit up then I could not make effective ergonomic use of my TV Dinner Tray.

(Got a deal on a LCD screen that I tip taller than wide, which is easier on the eyes and neck from a distance. Use control-key mouse-scroll to make text bigger.)

If the goal is ergonomics and happy workers (holistically) one would be foolish to confine the inside-the-box analysis to keyboard holders.

SOLUTION -- Tippy Chairs (padded) and non-specialized TV Dinner Trays (for the mouse, as the keyboard goes on one's lap.)

Maybe they can install those keyboard trays with one of those $600 hammers that the Air Force became famous for.

I'm frugal as all get out most of the time - but I have to agree that this may well be money well spent.

I was once the ergonomics coordinator for the 400-person office I worked for back in NYC - where people who'd been using horribly hard, badly-shaped keyboards with the proprietary editorial/publishing system we had developed bad cases of RSI (in fact, I believe a class action suit was filed against the system and helped put them out of business...).

Since it was a union shop, they were able to put addressing ergonomic issues into the next contract - and yes, we hired a consultant to come out and do right by us. People got measured. They got advice on how to configure their spaces. They got monitor stands, keyboard trays, adjustable chairs, and footstools as needed. And it ends up being far less expensive (and painful in all kinds of ways) to take preventative measures than to have people file workman's comp claims, be out on disability, or to have to sub in for staffers who now have to have surgery.

Where and when did this happen? Mid-90's, at the Village Voice.

I have intermittent issues with RSI myself - and they're usually alleviated by having decent equipment, plus knowing how to set your workspace up. And when I asked for equipment earlier this year at my office, it was provided ASAP - no questions asked.

And if you've ever dealt with RSI? You know it's no laughing matter.


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