Office Safety & Welfare Bulletin #9Title

Understanding Ergonomics at Work
Ergonomics can improve health and safety in the workplace but what is it?


Ergonomics is a science concerned with the “fit” between people and their work. It puts people first, taking into account their capabilities and limitations. Ergonomics aims to make sure that tasks, equipment, information and the environment suit each worker. To assess the “fit”, many aspects are considered, these include: • • • • • The job being done and the demands on the person. The equipment used (size, shape, how appropriate to the task). The information used (how it is presented, accessed and changed). The physical environment (temperature, humidity, lighting, noise, vibration). The social environment (teamwork and supportive management).

Ergonomists consider the physical aspects of a person, such as: • • • • • Size and shape. Fitness and strength. Posture. The senses, especially vision, hearing and touch. The stresses and strains on muscles, joints and nerves.

Ergonomists also consider the psychological aspects of a person, such as: • • • • Mental abilities. Personality. Knowledge. Experience.

By assessing the aspects of people, their jobs, equipment, working environment and the interaction between them, ergonomists are able to design safe, effective and productive work systems. Ergonomics improves heath and safety by: • • • Reducing the potential for accidents. Reduces the potential for injury and ill health. Improves performance and productivity.

Typical ergonomic problems, the computer screen is poorly positioned resulting in aches, chairs are not properly adjusted to suit the operator, a glare on the screen causing eyestrain, hardware/software not suitable for the task, etc.

Prepared by: Manoj Choyal; e-mail:

Got a pain in your workspace, talk to your manager!

Prepared by: Manoj Choyal; e-mail:

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