The basic ergonomic system is man-machine system. Man-machine system identifies inter-dependencies between man, machine and the environment, which on the one hand can lead to achieving results of work, on the other hand they can cause physical or psychological harm to the operator. Man-machine system is the keystone of the work process is a component of all systems of production. In the course of its operation it leads to producing specific goods.
Elements of an ergonomic system
Man is a biological system, the machine is a tool to replace or assist a man at work. Elements of the man-machine systems are:
- Work - a process that takes place between the machine's - signaling device - receptors - effectors - controls - and the machine. It is deliberate activities of man that require spending power and energy conversion, more than is necessary for resting of his metabolic system, even when there is no motion in the physical sense.
- Working environment is a whole technical, physical, chemical, biological, psychosocial conditions in which the work is done (lighting, noise, humidity, temperature, radiation, etc.).
- Organizational determinants of job include:
- adoption of working posture (standing, sitting, walking, bending, forced, etc.)
- the rhythm and pace of work,
- Operating system components:
- Man: receptors, effectors,
- Machine: signalling and control devices,
- Flows: informational and material.
- Structure of the work process
- collection of information, receiving: signal (the carrier of information) natural or artificial, signals quantitative and qualitative, human senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, movement, the impact of signalling device to receiving of control information.
- interpretation of information (the decision),
- action, decision: automatic - unconscious response to the signal, decisions based on conscious choice, experiences and routines influence all decision-making
Diagnosis of the ergonomic system
Performing of work is associated with the physical and mental burden of the body. Full assessment of the burden of the body consists of the following elements:
- Physical stress,
- Psychological stress,
- Environmental load,
- The risks of occupational diseases.
- Environment: The whole technical, physical, chemical, biological, and psychosocial conditions in which the work is done Between the environment and man should be a balance
- Environmental impact: fatigue, accidents, poisoning, occupational diseases, lost productivity, reduced quality of work, increased production costs
- Physical environment: noise, vibration, lighting, climate, air pollution, biological, radiation
- Conditions: the length of the working day, intensity of work, the rhythm and pace of work, holiday breaks.
Criteria for assessing the condition and operation of the system are ergonomic metrics that indicate the size of errors and deviations, determined by comparing the facts to normative values.
Examples of ergonomic products
- Ergonomic chairs: These chairs are designed to provide support and comfort to the user while seated. They are designed with adjustable features that allow the user to customize their experience and find the right position for their body. This can include features like adjustable armrests, lumbar support, adjustable seat height, and adjustable backrests.
- Ergonomic keyboards: These keyboards are designed to minimize stress on the hands, wrists, and arms. They are designed with features that allow the user to type comfortably and reduce strain, such as split keyboards, curved keyboards, and detachable palms rests.
- Ergonomic workstations: These workstations are designed to make the user more comfortable and productive in their work environment. They are designed with adjustable features like adjustable monitor mounts, footrests, and chair height that allow the user to customize their workstation to fit their body and preferences.
- Ergonomic software: This type of software is designed to help the user complete tasks with ease by providing intuitive user interfaces that are easy to use and understand. This type of software can also help reduce strain on the user by providing features like voice recognition, auto-fill, and auto-correct.
Advantages of Ergonomic system
- Ergonomic systems aim to increase the safety of the working environment by making spaces more comfortable and user friendly. This reduces the risk of physical and psychological injury and increases productivity.
- Ergonomic systems allow for a more efficient use of resources, as they help eliminate waste and maximize output. This is because workers are able to perform their tasks more quickly and accurately.
- Ergonomic systems can reduce costs associated with employee injuries and sicknesses. By making the workplace safer, there are fewer accidents and fewer days off due to illness.
- Ergonomic systems can help promote employee morale by creating a pleasant working environment. This can lead to increased motivation, engagement and loyalty from workers.
- Ergonomic systems can also help improve customer satisfaction, as customers are likely to be more impressed with a space that is comfortable and well designed. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and sales.
Limitations of Ergonomic system
The limitations of the ergonomic system include:
- Insufficient knowledge of the human body: Ergonomics studies the relationship between people and their environment, including their physical capabilities and limitations. However, it is often difficult to accurately predict how people will interact with their environment due to the complexities of the human body.
- Cost: Implementing ergonomic systems can be costly, as it requires an upfront investment in ergonomic equipment, materials, and personnel.
- Time: Ergonomics is a process that takes time to implement, as it requires a detailed analysis of the physical demands of the job and the environment.
- Limited availability of ergonomic equipment: Many companies do not have the resources or space to purchase ergonomic equipment.
- Change in the workplace: The ergonomic system must often be adapted to changes in the workplace, such as changes in personnel, technology, or the physical environment.
An ergonomic system can also be approached from a variety of perspectives. These include:
- Human Factors Engineering (HFE): Encompassing both physical and cognitive aspects of the human and their interactions with the work environment, HFE focuses on optimizing and designing the workplace to meet the needs of workers.
- Anthropometry: This is the study of human body measurements, such as body length, breadth, and muscular strength, and how they relate to ergonomics.
- Biomechanics: This is the study of the forces and motions of the body, and how they affect the body during work tasks.
- Ergonomics Risk Assessment: This involves examining the work environment to identify potential hazards and risks, and then making recommendations on how to reduce those risks.
- Occupational Health and Safety: This is the study of the effects of work on the physical and mental wellbeing of workers, and includes the development of policies and procedures to protect workers.
In summary, ergonomics can be approached from a variety of perspectives, including Human Factors Engineering, Anthropometry, Biomechanics, Ergonomics Risk Assessment and Occupational Health and Safety. Each of these approaches has its own unique set of benefits and challenges to consider when designing and implementing an ergonomic system.
|Ergonomic system — recommended articles
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- International Ergonomics Associacion, Ergonomics. Taylor & Francis, 1957.
- Hendrick, H. W. (1991). Ergonomics in organizational design and management. Ergonomics, 34(6), 743-756.
- Kroemer, K. H., Kroemer, H. B., & Kroemer-Elbert, K. E. (2001). Ergonomics: how to design for ease and efficiency. Pearson College Division.
- Human Factors and Ergonomics Society website