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Laboratory Ergonomics - Assignment Example

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Albert Einstein ([n.d.] cited in Glavanis 2008) once said, "I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn." And after all these years, conditions for learning have yet to be perfected by learning institutions as they continue to build learning areas that have poor ergonomics…
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Laboratory Ergonomics
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"Laboratory Ergonomics"

Download file to see previous pages Ergonomics comprise of two Greek words ergo meaning work and nomos meaning natural law (Pheasant 1996, p.5). Putting the two words together and in the context of Pheasant's definition, one may think that Ergonomics focuses on activities involving work, however as the discipline has evolved, it took on a greater extent.
In applying ergonomics, one need not place a person during work hours to determine a need for correct fit of his surroundings. A person maybe on a daily routine preparing for work or going to the grocers after work, and yet those activities require the same scientific study of correct design and movement in order to ensure that the individual will be injury-free. Thus, a modern definition of ergonomics would encompass activities related to work as well as those that are "not directly connected to making a living" (Adler ed. 1999, p. 2-4).
The significance of ergonomics is its contribution to the individual as well as the environment where such individual exists. According to the Health and Safety Executive Labor Force Survey of 2008/09 (2010, p. 11) , about 227,000 workers reported work-related injuries of the back which is caused or made worse by their current job and about 84,000 complained of injuries in their upper limb and neck. Both injuries combined caused about an average of 32 days per year lost work day for each of those complainants. If there was proper ergonomic considerations in the places of work that such complainants have, those injuries would have been avoided.
Columbia Encyclopedia thus defines ergonomics as "the engineering science concerned with the physical and psychological relationship between machines and the people who use them. The ergonomicist takes an empirical approach to the study of human-machine interactions. The objective is to improve the efficiency of operation by taking into account a typical person's size, strength, speed, visual acuity, and physiological stresses, such as fatigue, speed of decision making, and demands on memory and perception. Applications range from the design of work areas (including office furniture, automobile interiors, and aircraft cockpits) to the disposition of switches and gauges on the control panels of machinery to determining the size, shape, and layout of keys on computer terminals and character height, color, and clarity on video displays" (Lagass ed. 2009).
III. Anthropometrics
The main component in ergonomic design is the dimensions of the human body being considered. Anthropometrics therefore is the science that deals with these specific human measurements and plays a big role in ergonomic design. In considering human measurements, the average dimensions maybe taken into consideration, but will not satisfy the majority. The better approach is to take a range that will satisfy a significant portion of the population, with the use of distribution curves. On a normal distribution curve, one will get the 5th, 50th and 95th percentile of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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