Ergonomics is the study of how working environments affect people at work. Ergonomics is aimed at providing and improving employee health and productivity. Safe furniture, easy interface to machines, and good body posture are simple tasks that ensure suitable ergonomics.
When structuring ergonomic activites, a senior engineer taking care of the working environment and productivity must know the following about people:
- People can apply only a limited amount of physical force
- People make mistakes when they perform simple and repetitive tasks quickly
- People need time to perform complex calculations
- People find it difficult to perform two or more tasks at the same time
- People cannot respond rapidly to control signals that change frequently
- People cannot remember and recall large amounts of unrelated data
A senior engineer must also know the limitations of a machine:
- Machines cannot respond to predetermined stimuli beyond a certain limit
- Machines cannot respond to unpredictable events
- Machines cannot think inductively or act with flexibility
- Machines cannot produce beyond what they are designed to produce
When asking a manufacturer to design equipment, the engineer must be able to answer the following ergonomics-oriented questions:
- Is the design for a man or woman?
- Will the operator sit or stand?
- What controls are needed?
- What physical work will the operator do?
- Will he need mechanical assistance?
- What will be the ambient conditions?
- What will be the mechanical requirements?
- How should we promote worker participation with the design?
A senior engineer must consider temperature and humidity, noise, illumination, color and vibration before agreeing on a workplace design. As an engineering manager, you must be aware of how to allocate tasks during the design process. Give workers a variety of tasks to accomplish ergonomic comfort of the finished product. Knowing the various components of ergonomics, helps any professional engineer clearing PE Exam to maintain workplace comfort, productivity and safety.