The nature of ergonomics health and social care essay

‘Ergonomics ‘ comes from two Grecian words, ‘ergos ‘ ( work ) and ‘nomos ‘ ( natural Torahs ) . Murrell developed the name in 1949 after working with a squad of physiologists, anatomists and applied scientists at Cambridge University during World War II on the design of arm systems to accommodate worlds ( Murrell 1975 ) . At the terminal of the War, the group stayed together to organize the Ergonomics Research Society, which became the precursor of similar administrations that exist in many states today. In the United States of America, this activity is referred to as Human Factors and several thousand full-time professionals are members of the Human Factors Society. In Australia, the Ergonomics Society of Australia Inc3 is besides a strong association with about 650 professionals working in the countries of biotechnologies, occupational wellness and safety, and design.

Biotechnologies is the scientific survey of people, their work and theirenvironmentand utilizations informations derived fromtechnology, anatomical, physiological and psychological beginnings ( Standards Association of Australia 1976, p. 6 ) . The Standards Association papersdescribed biotechnologies as “ the design of work so that the best usage is made of human  capableness without transcending human restrictions ” ( Standards Association of Australia 1976, p. 6 ) . This description was supported by Worksafe Australia ( 1989a, p. 44 ) , which stated that biotechnologies: purposes to advance the wellbeing, safety and efficiency of the worker by the survey of his or her capableness and restrictions in relation to the work system, machine or undertaking and in relation to the physical, psychological and societal environment in which he or she works. A more elaborate definition describes biotechnologies as: that subdivision of scientific discipline and engineering that includes what is known and theorized about human behavioral and biological features that can be validly applied to the specification, design, rating, operation, and care of merchandises and systems to heighten safe, effectual, and fulfilling usage by persons, groups and organisation .

More late the Ergonomics Society of Australia Inc ( ESA ) ( 2001, p. 2 ) adopted the definition of biotechnologies as approved by the International Ergonomics Association, as follows: Biotechnologies ( or human factors ) is the scientific subject concerned with the apprehension of the interactions among worlds and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, rules, information and methods to plan in order to optimize human good being and overall system public presentation.

This definition placed accent on biotechnologies as a ‘systems-oriented subject ‘ . The ESA noted that “ ergonomists must hold a wide apprehension of the full range of the subject, taking into history the physical, cognitive, societal, organizational, environmental and other relevant factors, and that they may work in peculiar ‘application spheres ‘ , depicting three spheres as: Physical Ergonomics – concerned with human anatomical, anthropometric, physiological and biomechanical features as they relate to physical activity. Cognitive Ergonomics – concerned with mental procedures, such as perceptual experience, memory, concluding and motor response, as they affect interactions among worlds and other elements of a system. Organizational Ergonomics – concerned with the optimization of sociotechnical systems, including their organizational constructions, policies and procedures  .

Historically, the development of biotechnologies in Australia was closely associated with occupational wellness and safety due to the high incidence of musculoskeletal hurts in the workplace. Since so, the demand for a holistic attack “ to counter the increasing impact of rapid technological alteration has been emphasized ” ( Bullock 1999, p. 36 ) .

Biotechnologies is “ an attack ” , “ a doctrine ” , “ a manner of taking history of people in the manner we design and organize things ” ( Wilson 1990, p. 3 ) that may be used to supply an environment in which worlds can bring forth their work in harmoniousness with ‘the machine ‘ to the improvement of work quality and measure and the care or betterment of the physical and behavioural environment. The application of biotechnologies within administrations can ensue in improved working techniques, decreased mistakes and accidents, improved industrial dealings, and increased efficiency. By diminishing disablement and increasing work satisfaction and productiveness, biotechnologies contributes to a better quality of work life. The doctrine is to “ change the undertaking to accommodate human capacity, instead than force the human to accommodate to an inappropriate undertaking ” ( Patkin 1987, pp. 2, 4 ) . Among the cardinal issues related to optimum human interaction with computing machines were the physical layout of the computerscienceenvironment, illuming degrees and sound degrees ( Harper 1991, p. 39 ) . In an attempt to continually better the on the job conditions for computing machine users, biotechnologies research workers studied jobs related to equipment, furniture and the workstation environment. However, Patkin ( cited in Moore 1990, p. 45 ) noted that, while holding a suited environment and well-designed furniture and equipment is of import, it is besides of import that people “ cognize how to utilize it right and integrate it into the sum work topographic point system ” . The last clause is a major focal point of this thesis.

Ergonomic Risk Factors

Biotechnologies hazard factors are the facets of a occupation or undertaking that impose a biochemical emphasis on the worker. Biotechnologies hazard factors are the interactive elements of musculoskeletal disease jeopardies. The undermentioned ergonomic hazard factors are most likely to do or lend to an MSD.

It is of import to understand what a hazard factor is, or instead is non. A hazard factor itself is non need fully a causing agent for any peculiar MSD. Most of the times it is non merely the presence of a hazard factor, but the degree to which the hazard factor is conveyed that may take to MSDs. Similarly, to the extent a MSD instance is due to a hazard factor, sometimes it will be a combination of multiple hazard factors, instead than any individual factor, which contributes to or causes an MSD.

It is besides important to observe, in measuring any peculiar instance of a MSD, that hazard factors may be experienced by the affected individual during non-occupational activities. when covering with any ergonomic issue, it would be a mistake to concentrate entirely on the workplace. Furthermore, non every person exposed to any or all of these hazard factors will develop a MSD. Nor, for that affair, will any two individuals who are exposed to the same combination of hazard factors and in the same phase, respond to them in the same manner. However, because these are common factors that may convey approximately to a MSD in some combination and in some persons, these seven hazard agents are discussed in greater item below.


Repeat rate is determined as the mean figure of motions or effort executed by a joint or a organic structure nexus within a unit of clip. Repeated indistinguishable or similar gestures performed over a period of clip may do over-extension and overexploitation of some musculus groups, which may take to muscular fatigue. Interestingly, symptoms often associate non to the sinew and musculus groups involved in insistent motions, but to the stabilizing or counter sinew and musculus groups used to put and stabilise the appendage in infinite. Frequently, by altering undertakings, musculus groups have periods of activity interchanged with periods of remainder, which may be good in cut downing the cause of hurt.


Force is the mechanical or physical attempt to put to death a specific gesture or effort. Tasks or gestures that require application of higher force topographic point higher mechanical tons on musculss, sinews, ligaments and articulations. Tasks affecting high forces may do musculus to tire more rapidly. High forces may besides take to annoyance, redness, strains and cryings of musculus, sinews and other tissues.

The force required to finish a motion additions when other hazard factors are besides involved. For illustration more physical attempt may be needed to execute undertakings when the velocity or acceleration of gestures additions, when quiver is present, or when the undertaking besides requires awkward positions. Force can be internal, such as when tenseness develops within the musculus, ligaments and sinews during motion. Force can be external, as when a force is applied to the organic structure, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Forceful motions is most frequently associated with the motion of heavy tons, such as raising heavy objects on and off a conveyer, presenting heavy bundles, forcing a heavy cart, or traveling a palette. Hand tools that involve pinch clasps require more forceful efforts than those that allow other clasps, such as power clasps.

Contact Stresses

Contact emphasis consequences from periodic, repeated or uninterrupted contact between sensitive organic structure tissue and difficult or crisp object. Contact emphasis normally affects the soft tissue on the fingers, thenars, forearms, shins, thighs and pess. This contact may make force per unit area over a little country of the organic structure ( e. g. carpus, forearm ) that may suppress blood flow, sinew and musculus gesture and nervus map. Examples of contact emphasis include resting carpus on the crisp border of a desk or workstation when executing undertakings, pressing of tool grips into the thenar, particularly when they can non be put down, undertakings that involve manus pound, and sitting without equal remainder for the articulatio genuss.

Awkward Position

Position is the arrangement of a portion of the organic structure comparative to an next portion as measured by the angle of the joint associating them. Postural emphasis is setting on an extreme position at or shut to the normal scope of gesture. Position is one of the most frequently mentioned occupational hazard factors. There is an inert country of gesture for every jointing articulation in the organic structure. For each joint the scope of gesture is determined by motions that do non affect high muscular force or cause inordinate uncomfortableness. Injury hazards increase whenever work requires an single to put to death undertakings with organic structure sections outside their impersonal scope in a amused position. The upper arm and shoulder zone impersonal position is relaxed with the shoulders down and on the same degree, with weaponries at the side. Operating with the weaponries abducted off from the organic structure, overextended and shoulders stooped puts these articulations at the terminal of their normal scope of gesture, requires more muscular force and greatly increases the hazard for hurt. Labored sitting places, such as leaning sideways, writhing the vertebral column, flexing frontward or slouching Begin in response to compensation for specific work relationships but can go wont over clip. Position and positioning profile factors such as torso turn, tipped shoulders, caput tilt/rotation, raised cubitus ( either dominant, non-dominant, or both ) and runing with custodies near to the face are associated with increased hazard of musculoskeletal symptoms.


Vibration is the oscillating gesture of a physical organic structure. Vibration has been found to be an aetiologic factor in work environments utilizing tools vibrating in the frequence set of 20 to 80 hertz. localized quiver, such as quiver of the manus and arm, occurs when a specific portion of the organic structure comes into contact with vibrating objects such as powered manus tools ( e. g. concatenation saw, electric drill, come offing cock ) or equipment ( e. g. wood planning machine, punch imperativeness, boxing machine ) . Whole-body quiver occurs when standing or sitting in vibrating environments ( e. g. driving a truck over rough roads ) or when utilizing heavy vibrating equipment that requires whole organic structure engagement ( e. g. air hammers )

Cold Temperature

Cold temperature refer to exposure to excessive cold while executing work undertakings. Cold temperatures can cut down the sleight and sensitiveness of the custodies. Cold temperatures, for illustration, do the worker to use more clasp force to keep and tools and objects. Besides, prolonged contact with cold surfaces ( e. g. managing cold meat ) can impair sleight and bring on numbness. Cold is a job when it is present with other hazard factors and is particularly debatable when it is present with quiver exposure.

Of these hazard factors, force ( i. e. forceful efforts ) , repeat and awkward positions, particularly when happening at high degrees or in combination, are most frequently associated with the happening of MSDs. Exposure to one ergonomic factor may be adequate to do or lend to a covered MSD. However, most frequently ergonomic hazard factors act in combination to make a jeopardy. Jobs that have a multiple hazard factor have a greater likeliness of doing an MSD, depending on the continuance, frequence and/or magnitude of exposure to each. Therefore, it is of import that ergonomic hazard factors be considered in visible radiation of their combined consequence in doing or lending to an MSD.