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Ergonomics in the Workplace

Ergonomics means - the Law of Work. It is concerned with the achievement of optimal relationship between humans & their work environment.


Ergonomics is a multidisciplinary science, which deals with the study of men, machine and work environment for achieving optimal performance without causing any physiological and psychological discomfort.

The benefits of implementing ergonomics in the workplace could be manifold and include - more production output, reduced lost time, lower medical expense, reduced absenteeism, high quality work output, safe workplace, reduced labor turnover, and so on.

The Webster dictionary defines Ergonomics as - The science that seeks to adapt work or working conditions to suit the worker. ILO defines ergonomics as the application of human, biological sciences and engineering to improve work environment and at the same time enhance productivity.

Ergonomics is about fit - the fit between people, the things they do, the objects they use and the environments they work, travel and play in. If good fit is achieved, the stresses on people are reduced. They are more comfortable, they can do things more quickly and easily, and they make fewer mistakes.

So when we talk about fit, we do not just mean physical fit, we are concerned with psychological and other aspects too. Hence, ergonomics is often called Human Factors.

An industry relevant definition of ergonomics would be - The applied science of equipment design intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort.

Ergonomics also deals with workstation layout, work practices, injury prevention and work task design. The goal of ergonomics is to maximize worker efficiency while minimizing the negative impact on the worker.

Ergonomics is, thus, the field of study concerned with finding ways to keep people safe, comfortable, and productive while they perform tasks at work and at home. Ergonomics is based on one simple principle - make the task fit the person performing it without overly stressing the person's abilities or ignoring limitations. The goal of ergonomics is to design equipment, tools, and job tasks to maximize productivity and efficiency by reducing worker fatigue and discomfort.

Ergonomics is practiced in the workplace with the objective to identify & remove the work stresses that adversely affect health, safety and efficiency of workers. It is needed to..

  • provide safe and productive workplace to employees.
  • comply with regulatory bodies.
  • achieve better productivity

Revealing facts related to Ergonomics

  • Ergonomic disorders are the fastest growing category of work related illnesses. In the last decade, the incidences of work related repetitive motion disorders increased by a factor of seven.
  • Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) cost Indian business nearly ?10,000 crore per year in medical costs and lost wage benefits.
  • Annually, more than ten million workers suffer from computer related vision problems.
  • Repetitive trauma disorder cases now account for 65% of all occupational illnesses.
  • By the year 2020, an estimated 50% of the Indian workforce could suffer from ergonomics related injuries such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tendonitis, DeQuervain's Disease, and lower back pain.

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About the Author
Rajeev Kumar
CEO, Computer Solutions
Jamshedpur, India

Rajeev Kumar is the primary author of How2Lab. He is a B.Tech. from IIT Kanpur with several years of experience in IT education and Software development. He has taught a wide spectrum of people including fresh young talents, students of premier engineering colleges & management institutes, and IT professionals.

Rajeev has founded Computer Solutions & Web Services Worldwide. He has hands-on experience of building variety of websites and business applications, that include - SaaS based erp & e-commerce systems, and cloud deployed operations management software for health-care, manufacturing and other industries.

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