Ergonomics by gM9zk03g

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									                             Ergonomics

Definition
Ergonomics is concerned with the interaction between the worker and the job. The
simplest definition of ergonomics is 'the science of making the job fit the worker';
another is 'the application of human sciences to the optimization of people's
working environment`.

Ergonomics seeks to improve the match between the job and man's physical
abilities, information handling and workload capacities. The subject is synonymous
with 'human factors engineering', a term used in North America. Its fundamental
importance is recognized in the International Labour Organization, which defines
ergonomics as:
'The application of the human biological sciences in conjunction with the
engineering sciences to the worker and his working environment, so as to obtain
maximum satisfaction for the worker which at the same time enhances
productivity'.
This definition emphasizes the important triad of ergonomic elements:

      Comfort,
      Health, and
      Productivity.

Thus ergonomics seeks to adapt work to human physical and psychological
capabilities and limitations. In seeking this goal, it draws on many disciplines
including:


      Anatomy,
      Physiology,
      Psychology,
      Sociology,
      Physics, and
      Engineering.
The value of ergonomics
The value of ergonomics is easily understood by anyone who has tried to do a job
using the wrong tools. The increased difficulty causes the job to take longer, leading
to frustration and loss of temper. This in turn leads to use of excessive force and
increases the risk of a slip of the hand and injury. In the wider world of industry and
commerce, such problems arising from poor design of jobs, machines or
workplaces may lead to large-scale inefficiencies, risk taking, increase in accidents
and 'near-misses', and increases in absenteeism related to dissatisfaction with the
job. Knowledge of ergonomics is of great value in preventing ill health and injury
from work, as well as in rehabilitating (e.g. someone with back pain). For example,
personal protective equipment will not generally be used unless it is acceptable to
employees, by fitting comfortably and not interfering unduly with the task for which it
is needed.
Ergonomics will in due course be considered in more detail with special reference
to the following issues:


      'Manual handling'
      Display screen equipment work stations, such as in offices

The consequences of poor ergonomic planning or practice:
These can include a range of musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain, or other
problems such as so called repetitive strain injury or cumulative trauma disorder
(RSI/CTD).

								
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