Why do i need to know this as an engineer sometimes a bit of history goes a long way to explain why certain things in a discipline are considered important. For an engineer it may be good to know what the starting point was before any real thought was put into methodically improving the human aspects of production work. It will also help you understand why ergonomics covers so many areas and is such a diverse and complex discipline. The discipline of ergonomics is not nearly as old as medicine or even industrialization but it arose as a consequence of an extreme social situation: world war ii.
With all the ablebodied young men drafted to war industrialists faced a need to suddenly adapt workplaces to the needs and limitations of a new more diverse workforce consisting of women physically disabled and other previously overlooked groups of society. At the end of the war society itself had changed to the point where it was acceptable for many of these groups to remain in employment. While this first effort concerned itself mostly with physical work later historical developments showed that it was possible to also improve workplaces in relation to human mental capability teamwork and organizations. Today it is in the best interests of most industries to build workplaces where the greatest possible diversity of people are able to perform well meaning that physical cognitive and organizational sides of ergonomics are equally powerful aspects in the design of inclusive workplaces.
As ergonomics widened its scope it became the concern of more and more stakeholders. Today it is worthwhile to know that ergonomics has the potential to concern engage and/ or provoke many more people than just the workplace designer the ergonomist or the worker. its important toknow why do i need to know this as an engineer sometimes a bit of history goes a long way to explain why certain things in a discipline are considered important