Work Environment

Interaction of posture, forces and time

                  “The safety of the body is ensured by considering its weakest link.”                      It is important to remember that the interaction between posture, force and time may sometimes increase or decrease the total risk (increased probability and severity of injuries) considerably. It is for instance not necessarily true that lifting heavy weights is always a risk; this is acceptable as long as it is done infrequently (to ensure recovery) and with good posture.                   Read more


                      From a physical point of view, having a basic understanding of the human body’s strengths, abilities, and limitations is an important basis for making well thought-out tweaks to the design of the workplace, in order to build work systems that are not a risk to huma health or performance. Knowing how your muscles, bones and joints work may seem like a far cry from your engineering work, but it will significantly help your understanding in later  chapters where physical loading and methods of ergonomics evaluation are  discussed. Another thing Read more

Different engineering roles act on different types of knowledge

                    Engineers may end up playing a variety of different (sometimes overlapping) roles in their professional career. Each with their distinct scope, system level and operational concerns – some switch between several of these throughout their working life, depending on how specialized their working role is and at what system level they are. Expected to address problem solving. For example, an engineer may act on a specialized, operative level with responsibility for a single  production line, which would require specific methods and  knowledge to optimize for human well-being and performance.   Read more

Its time to ergonomis

               People are one of industrys most important resources. In todays industrial operations people perform physical tasks of assembling and handling materials as well as sensory and cognitive tasks such as inspecting components issuing tools entering data and managing people and operations. simply put it takes people to make products and provide services. People are also prospective customers. If manufactured products meet the needs and desires of customers at a reasonable price customers will buy them. In fact the more attractive these products are and the more competitive the price the greater the sales Read more

Measuring posture

                         How, then, can we determine if a posture in itself is harmful? A good rule of thumb is that if a posture is held near the outer range of motion, it is probably not a good position for taking on external forces. For many ergonomics evaluation methods, posture is defined in terms of joint angles between body segments. A “neutral” posture is considered the least amount of loading, and resembles a relaxed, standing, symmetrical body position with the arms hanging along the sides of the body .   Read more

How big is the problem?

              MSDs are the work-related health problem with the highest impact on sickness absenteeism in Europe; they are the cause of half of all absences from work and cost the EU €240 billion each year in productivity losses (Fit for Work Europe 2013). MSDs are also the work-related health problem with the highest impact on permanent incapacity; 61% of permanent incapacity is due to MSDs (OSHA 2007). Forty-four million workers across the EU have an MSD caused by their work, 30% of those with MSDs also have depression, making it even more difficult for Read more

What is ergonomics/human factors?

                  For many people, the word ergonomic is associated primarily with comfy office chairs, the correct labeled “ergonomic”, like kitchenware, backpacks or gardening tools. The word itself comes from the Greek roots ergon (work)and nomos (laws)androughlytranslatesto“th scienceofwork”,focusingonhumanactivity. The purpose of production ergonomics               It can be assumed that anyone in charge of a production system would want all of its sub-components to function together with as much ease and efficiency as possible. When part of that production system is human, the performance of the system as Read more

Basic Anatomy and Physiology

             Our ability to work – in any way – is completely dependent on our physical health. When we feel unease, discomfort, pain or numbness, we may be able to ignore the body’s warning signals and still perform work, but the body will perform slower; with less power, quality and precision; with more errors; and at worst, resulting in serious accidents. A very real problem that is faced by all productio industry is when the limit has been passed for what a human body can tolerate, resulting in a worke needing to go on sick Read more


                  When the different functional tissues of the locomotive system work together, the body generates movement. The study of human movement is known as kinesiology. There is some useful standard terminology that is used in medical science to describe different types of movement, in terms of directions and orientation. Most human movements consist of bending or twisting motions that change the joint angles between different body segments. Some movements are coupled, in the sense that pairs of muscles work against each other to “do and undo” each other’s respective movements (for example, bending Read more


                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 Read more