What is ergonomics?
(Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF))
Ergonomics concerns everyone at work and is about:
- Designing workplaces, equipment and tasks to fit the worker
- Making work and equipment safer, easier and more productive
Lack of consideration of Ergonomics in the design of workplaces and jobs can result in:
- injuries and illness
- fatigue and discomfort
- inefficient working practices
- poor quality of work and errors
- equipment which is awkward and uncomfortable to use
- lost time and poor morale
All of the above have a direct effect on the cost of doing business.
Fitting the task to the worker is a fundamental principal in ergonomics. In practical terms this means things like ensuring that work surfaces are at the correct height; signs are easily seen and understood and loads can be handled safely.
Although getting these things right can require specialist knowledge, there are some simple practical methods which can be used to identify ergonomic problems and to rectify them.
More information on ergonomics can be found in the ergonomics site