Validating a framework for participatory ergonomics
The terms ‘Human Engineering’, ‘Human Factors’ and ‘Human Factors Engineering’ came into use in the USA during World War 2 in the context of the design of military equipment Ergonomics is a discipline that can be applied to OSH to help ensure that workplace risks are, prevented at the design stage, eliminated at a later stage, or controlled and reduced if they cannot be eliminated.
It can therefore improve the safety, well-being and comfort of workers.
In the 19th century the same term had been coined independently in Poland by Wojciech Jastrzębowski who published Rys ergonomji czyli nauki o pracy, opartej na prawdach poczerpniętych z Nauki Przyrody (The Outline of Ergonomics, i.e.
Science of Work, Based on the Truths Taken from the Natural Science) (1857).
It will therefore tend to improve the reliability of humans within a system and to reduce the risks of harmful errors occurring.It also has broader effects by enhancing the safety of systems of work and therefore, more broadly, of society as a whole.In the specific context of the safety of machinery the need to accommodate ergonomics principles is embodied in ISO 12100 provides a more detailed framework for incorporating ergonomics in the design of machines to help ensure their safety.It is thought to be a warning mechanism that prevents overstrain of the body or a part of the body.It can be general or systematic, or local, usually muscular in nature. It is important in the context of OSH because it leads to the reduction in the capacity of muscles to generate force or power output, so may make a fatigued worker less able to perform work tasks, less efficient, and more likely to make errors or suffer injury as the part of a machine or device which allows the exchange of information between an operator/user and the machine/device.
This includes assessing the work tasks, putting in place preventive measures, and checking that these measures stay effective .