Ergonomics is Good
Just as engineering principles affect
the way machinery functions, anatomical principles affect the
way people function... Paul Johnson, Vice-President JTC
The term “ergonomics” is derived from two Greek words: “ergon”,
meaning work and “nomoi”, meaning natural laws. Ergonomists
study human capabilities in relationship to work demands.
What is ergonomics?
1) : an applied science concerned with designing and arranging
things people use so that the people and things interact most
efficiently and safely -- called also human engineering
2) ...The applied science of equipment design, as for the
workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing
operator fatigue and discomfort. Also called biotechnology,...
Most people have heard of ergonomics and think it is something
to do with seating or with the design of car controls and
instruments. It is...but it is much more! Ergonomics is the
application of scientific information concerning humans to the
design of objects, systems and environment for human use.
Ergonomics comes into everything which involves people. Work
systems, sports and leisure, health and safety should all
embody ergonomics principles if well designed.
How do you use ergonomics? Ergonomics incorporates elements
from many subjects including anatomy, physiology, psychology
and design. Ergonomists apply their diverse knowledge to
ensure that products and environments are comfortable, safe
and efficient for people to use.
What is Ergonomic design?
Ergonomic design is a way of
considering design options to ensure that people's
capabilities and limitations are taken into account. This
helps to ensure that the product is fit for use by the target
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) result when
there is a mismatch between the physical capacity of workers
and the demands of the job. Musculoskeletal disorders are the
leading cause of disability of people in their working years,
afflicting over 19 million workers. One-half of the nation's
work force is affected at some time during their working
lives. Statistics show a steady increase in musculoskeletal
disorders. Each year thousands of workers in the United States
report work related MSDs such as tendonitis, epicondylitis,
carpal tunnel syndrome, and back injuries. Many of these are
caused or aggravated by work related stressors such as
lifting, reaching, pulling, pushing, and bending.
About one-third of all occupational injuries and illnesses
stem from over exertion and/or repetitive motion. Cost to the
nation in direct work's comp costs exceed $20 billion. Several
high profile studies have been conducted over the last few
years by respected scientists from the National Academy of
Sciences (NAS), the National Institute for Occupational Safety
and Health (NIOSH), and others.
Between 1999 and 2002, more than 30 percent of all workers'
compensation claims from the Independent Electrical
Contractors (IEC) were related to ergonomics. This amounted to
more than $10 million in claims in just four years.
The applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace,
intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue
and discomfort. Also called biotechnology, human engineering,
human factors engineering. Also, known as design factors, as
for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by
minimizing operator fatigue and discomfort: