Where can we use Ergonomics?


Ergonomics can be widely applied to everyday domestic situations. But there are even more significant implications for efficiency, productivity, safety and health in work settings. Examples include:

1. Designing equipment and work arrangements to improve working posture and ease the load on the body, thus reducing instances of Repetitive Strain Injury/Work Related Upper Limb Disorder

Image courtesy of Joe Ventura, © 2004 VenturaDesign
Please note that the Image, Dangers of Forward Posture, is by courtesy of Joe Ventura, © 2004 VenturaDesigns.

2. Another example of ergonomic design is information design. This aims to make the interpretation and use of handbooks, signs, and displays easier and less prone to error.

3. Ergonomic design of training arrangements aims to cover all significant aspects of the job concerned. It must take account of the range of human learning requirements.

4. Designing working environments, including lighting and heating, to suit the needs of the users and the tasks performed. Where necessary, this also extends to the design of personal protective equipment for work and hostile environments.

The multi-disciplinary nature of ergonomics (also called ‘Human Factors’) is immediately obvious. The overall aim of ergonomics is to ensure that the knowledge of human characteristics is applied to the practical problems of people at work and in leisure.

It is known that, in many cases, humans can adapt to unsuitable conditions. But such adaptation often leads to inefficiency, errors, unacceptable stress, and physical or mental cost. Is it worth the risk?

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