Ergonomics is Good Business……

Just as engineering principles affect the way machinery functions, anatomical principles affect the way people function.

Paul Johnson, Vice-President JTC

What is ergonomics?

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

Pronunciation: “er-ga-‘nä-miks

  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.

Using Ergonomics

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 users.

Effects from poor Ergonomics

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 overexertion 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:

Sources and Resources