The two main objectives of the ergonomics process are to enhance performance and reduce fatigue. The ergonomics process is a multi-step method to evaluate work, study how the body responds to these work demands and then use such information to design or improve work areas to best meet these two objectives. The design of a work area or equipment can have significant impact on worker fatigue, safety and worker performance. In addition, with the extension of machine technology, new and different equipment is continually made to the work place each year. This expansion of technology in the world of work can both ameliorate workspace problems, as well as, create them. Both the equipment and the population must be operating smoothly, for a work area to flow efficiently and productively. Any obstacle, congestion, confusion, or difficult reach can impair work output and may, at times, compromise worker safety.
Work areas and equipment are designed and constructed based on human capabilities and capacities. Obviously, there are some limitations to work design, as the worker population, most like is quite variable in size, weight, and shape. In addition, there is no such thing as the ‘average ‘person. That is why the principles of anthropometrics have become so important.
Anthropometrics is the science of the physical dimensions, size, weight, and shape of the human body. The word anthropometry comes from the Greek words ‘anthro ‘, meaning ‘man’ and ‘metrein’ meaning ‘to measure’. The study of anthropmetrics is based on the idea that the population morphology is variable and that there are individual size and strength capabilities and differences. By measuring human body dimensions, one can establish normative data. This describes the frequency distribution of the population’s size. Anthropometric principles can then be applied to work place design and modification to enhance worker performance, reduce fatigue, and determine safe working conditions.
And Now For More Ergonometrics
In addition, gender, race, nationality, and age are variables that must be taken into account when evaluating standard anthropometric tables or creating specific population tables. Anthropometric data is compiled to make guidelines to make the work areas, equipment, tools and product fit the size, reach, grip, capacity, and liquidation of the working population. Worker populations contain individuals who’re male and female, large and small, short and tall, young and old, and strong and weak. The goal of the implementation of the principles of anthropometrics to the workplace, as part of work area and system design is to improve human performance, control fatigue and prevent accidents.
Makes you wonder!
Highly productive workers work from clean and organized desk. Research shows thirty per cent of the time is been wasted looking for something that is been misplaced at somewhere. Uncomfortable chair, obstruction and glare from your computer monitor will increase stress to your work. You will feel it when you’re in hurry or cannot find your thing. Working long hour using non-ergonometric chair can cause stress and back pain to you. You always have the right to apply for more comfortable furniture and equipment to improve your working productivity.
And There’s More!
In the science of anthropometrics, measurements of the people’s dimensions are obtained on the basis of population’s size and strength capabilities and differences. From these measurements, a set of data is collected which takes into account the studied population in the area of size and form. This population can then be described in the area of a frequency distribution including terms and conditions of the mean, percentiles, and the median, standard deviation. The frequency distribution for each measure of the population dimension is expressed in percentiles. The xth percentile indicates that x% of the population has the same value or lower than that value for a particular measurement. The median or average value for a given dimension is the fiftieth percentile. In addition, 100-x of the people have a value higher than x.
In ergonomic design, we don’t design for the average person, or the 50th percentile, we design for the 95th percentile. In other words, 95 percent of the population can use the work area safely and efficiently, and 5 percent of the population may need to be accommodated. Conventionally, the 95th percentile has been chosen to determine clearance heights or lengths. That means 95 percent of the population will be in a position to pass through a door, while only 5 percent of the population may need to be accommodated. In addition, the 5th percentile female has been selected to determine the functional reach distance, that means 95 percent of the population will be in a position to perform this reach, and only 5 percent of the population may need to be accommodated.
Standard Anthropometric tables can be employed, or an Anthropometric table can be created of a particular worker population. These data tables can be used in order to help determine safe and efficient work area and workflow designs. Anthropometric tables provide valuable information on population size, shape and strength capabilities and differences so that work areas can be built or modified to improve work design and increase efficiency.