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Introduction to “Human Factors and Ergonomics”


History of “Human Factors” in Design
Early Civilization
• development of simple tools and utensils for hunting, gathering, farming, building, and fighting

• materials included stone, bone, and wood (and much later … metals)
• driven by survival and recognition of need for crafting utensils that would be comfortable & easy to use


shows how aorta‟s elastic properties convert pulsatile flow from heart into smooth flow 3 .History of “Human Factors” in Design 1400s • Leonardo da Vinci studies function of muscle and bone 1500s • Galileo Galilei uses concept of constant period of oscillation to measure heart rates with a pendulum 1600s • William Harvey postulates the existence of capillaries in connecting veins and arteries for proper circulation 1700s • Stephen Hales measures arterial pressure & correlates it with hemorrhage & ventricular forces.

” [Quoted in Chaffin et al.History of “Human Factors” in Design 1700s: Ramazzini (physician) observes the Workplace “Manifold is the harvest of diseases reaped by craftsmen … As the … cause I assign certain violent and irregular motions and unnatural postures ….by which … the natural structure of the living machine is so impaired that serious diseases gradually develop. 1999] 4 ..

fatigue. surgical teams study .improved efficiency by suggesting new protocol: surgeons should call for instrument which is placed in extended hand by nurse • forerunners of “human factors” research 5 . workstations & equipment for physically disabled • e.History of “Human Factors” in Design Late 1800s / Early 1900s: The Industrial Revolution • Frank and Lillian Gilbreth • study of human motion and workplace management • skilled performance.g.

1997] 6 .History of “Human Factors” in Design The Best Way to Lift Bricks • Frank and Lillian Gilbreth: “…to lift 90 pounds of brick at a time is most advantageous physiologically as well as economically …” Bricks/Lift 1 18 24 Weight/Lift (lbs) Work/Hour (kCal) Bricks/Hour Optimal Procedure 5 520 250 90 285 600 120 450 300 [Data Source: Moore and Andrews.

still an “efficiency gap” that called for a paradigm shift by fitting job/tools to the person 7 .History of “Human Factors” in Design 1900-1945: Workplace was “Task Oriented” • people adapted to the job and equipment required • tests developed for better worker selection and training • BUT.

History of “Human Factors” in Design 1945-1960: “Human Factors” Profession is Born • first engineering psychology labs established in US & Britain • first „Ergonomics Research Society‟ formed in Britain • first book on human factors in engineering design • first scientific journal in 1957 – „Ergonomics‟ • International Ergonomics Society launched in 1959 8 .

automobiles.History of “Human Factors” in Design 1960-1980: Rapid Growth • up to 1960. and other consumer products) 9 . computers. human factors research limited to military • interest and need fed by “Race for Space” • expansion beyond military and space research to industry and workplace (e.g.

History of “Human Factors” in Design 1980-Today: Computers. and office design  Disasters – Three Mile Island. Chernobyl. responses.desire for “people-oriented” technology grew through ergonomically designed computers. Disasters. defective design. and various high-profile chemical plant explosions were linked to lack of attention to “human factor” considerations  Lawsuits – courts came to recognize the need for experts in explaining human behaviour. userfriendly software. & Lawsuits  Computers . and effectiveness of workplace warnings and instructions 10 .

What is Ergonomics? “Ergonomics” • Ergon = work • Nomos = laws • “the laws of work” Alternative Names • Humans Factors Engineering • Human Engineering • Occupational Psychology • Engineering Psychology • Applied Experimental Psychology 11 .

What is Ergonomics? Ergonomics • Ergonomics is the study and optimization of the interaction between people and their physical environment by considering their physical. 12 . Occupational Ergonomics • Concerns the application of ergonomics principles specifically to the workplace and related tasks. and psychological characteristics. physiological.

NOT using oneself as the model for design since there is diversity and variation 3. NOT just applying “universal” checklists and guidelines blindly 2.What is Ergonomics? What Ergonomics is NOT 1. NOT just using common sense since must be based on real data and information 13 .

Diversity: Recognition of diversity in human capabilities and limitations. but do influence human behaviour and well-being 14 . User Orientation: Design and application of tools. and systems must be useroriented. rather than “stereotyping” workers/users 3. procedures. rather than just “task” oriented 2. and systems are not “inert”.What is Ergonomics? Six Pillars of Ergonomic Design “Wisdom” 1. procedures. Effect on Humans: Tools.

affect one another. Objective Data: Empirical information and evaluation is key in design process. Scientific Method: test and retest hypothesis with real data. and do not exist in “isolation” 15 . and people are interconnected. rather than just use of “common sense” 5. rather than “anecdotal” evidence or “good estimates” 6.What is Ergonomics? Six Pillars of Ergonomic Design “Wisdom” 4. procedures. environments. Systems: object.

marketing/sales 3. Requirements: user. optimization 16 .What is Ergonomics? Life-Cycle of Products. and Systems 1. government. Procedures. prototype testing. comparison. integrating with rest of system. Initial Idea: driven by customers. needs 2. Design: detail parts. competitors. profit. choose best one 4. standards. problems. manufacturer. technology change. Concepts: design alternatives. cost.

and Systems 5. Disposal: toxicity. maintenance. Manufacturing: material. Use: security. repair 8. assembly 6. warranty 7. delivery. Distribution/Sale: shipping. processes. recycling. display. Procedures. reusability. installation. access. safety. upgrade 17 .What is Ergonomics? Life-Cycle of Products.

the study of the physical interruption of workers with their tools.. 1980) Occupational Biomechanics “Occupational biomechanics is ….What is Occupational Biomechanics? Biomechanics “Biomechanics uses the laws of physics and engineering concepts to describe motion undergone by the various body segments and the forces acting on these body parts during normal daily activities” (Frankel and Nordin. 1999) 18 .” (Chaffin et al. and materials so as to enhance the worker‟s performance while minimizing the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. machines.

1999] 19 .Biomechanical Modeling Methods Anthropometric Methods Mechanical Work Capacity Evaluation Methods Bioinstrumentation Methods Kinesiology Methods Classifying and Evaluating Work OCCUPATIONAL ERGONOMICS & BIOMECHANICS Worker Selection Criteria & Training Hand Tool Design Guidelines Workplace & Machine Guidelines Seating Design Guidelines Material Handling Limits Improved Performance & Reduced Risk of Mechanical Trauma [Chaffin et al.

7%(ankle).3%(wrist). 8%(knee).8 million  Permanent Impairment in US (1990) = 600. 6%(shoulder). 3%(neck)  Causes of Injury  Overexertion (31%). and falling (17%). 3.The Need for Ergonomics Evidence from Epidemiology  Disabling work injuries in US (1990) = 1. other (28%) 20 .000  Sprains/Strains account for 43% of work injuries  Musculoskeletal conditions in US (1988) = $126 Billion  Reduction of worker’s compensations costs by 36-91% by companies using Ergonomics in workplace  Areas of Injury  61%(back). impact (24%).

gender. recommended weight-lifting standard in 1960s by International Standards Organization is illegal now in many countries because it “stereotypes” age/gender lifting limits 21 .g. age.The Need for Ergonomics Social and Legal Support • “Social Justice” understanding of work and employment • Trend in industrialized countries to accommodate individual workers regardless of physical capabilities. or race • Changing international standards for “work capacity” limits and “worker selection” tests • Research reveals greater diversity of “performance” within age and gender groups than previously thought • E.

4 % 1.The Ergonomics Profession “Human Factors Society” Member Backgrounds (1991) Psychology Engineering Ergonomics Medicine/Life Sciences Education Industrial Design Business Computer Science Other 45.9 % 1.3 % 22 .1 % 19.3 % 8.6 % 2.7 % 3% 2.1 % 7.

The Ergonomics Profession What Fields are Ergonomic specialists found in? (1991) Computers 22 % Aerospace 22 Industrial Processes 17 Health and Safety 9 Communications 8 Transportation 5 Other 17 23 .

The Ergonomics Profession Where do Ergonomics specialists Work? (1991) Private Business/Industry Government Agencies Academics/University 74 % 15 10 Where do Human Factors specialists Work? (1991) Large Organizations 57 % 24 .

budgets System Development • goal setting. etc 25 .The Ergonomics Profession A day in the life of an Ergonomics specialist (1986) Communication • reports. user requirements Research and Evaluation • experimentation. task analysis. proposals. supervising others. reviewing literature Management • scheduling projects. stats analysis.

. 26 . Kingston. Ergonomics for Mechanical Design. 1993. 1997. Canada.  Moore and Andrews.  Frankel and Nordin. 1980  Sanders and McCormick. Human Factors in Engineering and Design. Queens Univ. MECH 495 Course Notes. Basic Biomechanics of the Skeletal System.Sources Used  Chaffin et al. 1999. Occupational Biomechanics..