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12 Jul. 2006
Topics at the IEA 2006
The official definition of ergonomics by the International Ergonomics Association:
"Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance."

Reduction of health and safety risks and comfort improvements are the main goals in ergonomics. A narrow focus on human well being however, might be at the cost of performance and productivity, which stands in the way of successful implementation. The ergonomic challenge is to design interventions that simultaneously increase efficiency and promote well-being of workers.

Shifting paradigms in human factors and ergonomics (HFE)
The impact of information technology has triggered transformations in the nature and practice of human factors and ergonomics, shifting the focus from adapting equipment, workplaces and tasks to human capabilities - to cognitive systems integration, the development of symbiotic technologies and finally the biological enhancement of physical or cognitive capabilities.

Generation 1: Physical fit – Adapt equipment, workplace and tasks to human capabilities and limits
Generation 2: Cognitive fit – Integrate humans, technology and work to enable effective systems
Generation 3: Neural fit – Amplify human physical and cognitive capabilities to perform work through symbiotic coupling with technology
Generation 4: Biological fit – Biologically modify physical and/or cognitive capabilities to maximize human effectiveness
(neural and genetic optimization of human information processing)

Boff, K.: Revolutions and shifting paradigms in human factors & ergonomics.

Ergonomics = User Participation
Two emerging trends: working across organizational, geographical, cultural and temporal boundaries as well as the increasing role of the customer in product/service design contribute to increased work system complexity.

Vink et al. classify success factors in ergonomics in goal, process and involvement. These factors are considered as positive aspects of ergonomics in improvement of the working environment, leading to higher productivity and greater comfort.

Regarding goals, evidence is found in the literature that a positive approach has benefits in terms of shareholder value and productivity, and for comfort. In the process it is essential to have a good inventory of the problems, a structured step-by-step approach, a steering group and good checks of the effects.

Regarding involvement, many studies agree that active participation of end-users and management contributes to success. Basically, participatory ergonomics can be defined as the involvement of people in planning and controlling a significant amount of their own work activities, with sufficient knowledge and power to influence both processes and outcomes in order to achieve desirable goals.

Carayon, P.: Human factors of complex sociotechnical systems.
Vink, P.; Koningsveld, E.; Molenbroek, J.: Positive outcome of participatory ergonomics in terms of greater comfort and higher productivity.
Kogi, K.: Participatory methods effective for ergonomic workplace improvement.

Tools and methods for risk assessment and management of WMSDs
- MTM-Ergo (Schaub)
MTM = Methods-Time Measurement
- OCRA-MIDA (Colombini)
OCRA = occupational repetitive action method for risk assessment and management of manual repetitive tasks
- WIN-SI (Garg)
- Expert decision system (Armstrong)

- Evaluation methods: NIOSH, OWAS, AAWS (automotive assembly worksheet); CEN standards, ISO standards, etc.

- Exposure Quantification Methods (Bao/Spielholz/Howard/Silverstein)
Strain Index (SI) method
ACGIH Hand Activity Level Threshold Limit Value (HAL TLV) method

Quelle: IEA 2006, Journal for Applied Ergonomics

Autor: Rene Kauer; Copyright: KOHS; Publiziert von: Rene Kauer (Kauer_Rene)
factID: 253614.4 (...Archiv); Publiziert am 10 Aug. 2006 23:56
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