Applied Ergonomics

Applied Ergonomics

Applied Ergonomics

Applied Ergonomics


Derived from the annual US conference of the same name, this is not a conference proceedings collection but a text of ergonomics applications for those ergonomics professionals needing a reference work that focuses on practical issues.


David C. Alexander, PE, CPE

Randall A. Rabourn, CSP, CPE

Applied Ergonomics is a text devoted to sharing the experiences of ergonomics practitioners in a variety of applications, situations and environments. The chapters of this text are a series of papers authored by practicing ergonomists to provide an insight into the "real world" application of ergonomics principles. Each chapter represents a paper presented at the Third Annual Applied Ergonomics Conference in Los Angeles, California, March, 2000. A heartfelt "thanks" is extended to the individual authors for their willingness and effort to document their experiences so that other ergonomics specialists can benefit.

There are thirty-five chapters in this text and they are organized into sections by the type of ergonomics application. The application sections include: manufacturing and production processes; support and service jobs; office environments; potpourri; health management; and design. Each chapter can be read in the authors' own words as they share what has worked, or not worked, for them. Each chapter will have relevance to you based upon your own work, your environment, and your degree of experience and formal ergonomics training. Nonetheless, you should find all of the chapters valuable in helping you decide appropriate actions to take in order to improve ergonomics workplace conditions.


Manufacturing and production process environments continue to be the primary areas for ergonomics applications, and a proportionately large part of this book is devoted to examples from these areas. Chapters 1 through 15 comprise this section and address a range of topics, from company ergonomics process and program issues to ergonomic intervention case studies.

A series of papers describes ergonomics processes and programs developed and applied by several companies. The focus of "An Ergonomics Lineside Audit Method in Automotive Manufacturing" by Smith, is an ergonomics audit procedure used by an automotive manufacturer. This audit activity is described in detail, and is the first step in the company's goal to develop an "ergonomics culture." The following paper by Henderson, "Textron Automotive Trim: Initiating a Sustainable Ergonomics Process," outlines key elements of an ergonomics process at an automotive trim plant and describes the steady reduction of musculoskeletal disorders attributed to adhering to this process over a number of years. The next paper, "Ergonomics Before Equipment Receipt," by White and Schwab, describes the process one company uses to ensure its equipment vendors adhere to industry ergonomics specifications for manufacturing equipment design.

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