Ergonomic Evaluation Essay, Research Paper
TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE1. Introduction 32. Workstation 33. Work space 54. Work environment 55. Photographs 66. Recommendations and concluding remarks 6 APPENDICES 1-8 REFERENCES 1. Introduction Ergonomics may be defined as the generation and application, particularly of experimental psychological data and methods, so as to assist primarily in adjusting the physical environment in which man operates, to best suit his or her limitations and capabilities (Blignaut, 1988, p.13). In essence then, the application of ergonomics ensures that a person works in a safe, well-designed and satisfactory environment. In the sections which follow, a report will be given on an office that was ergonomically evaluated according to a number of criteria. The workstation, work space and work environment will be discussed. In conclusion, a number of photographs of the office are included. 2. Workstation The following components were evaluated with regard to the workstation:n chairn deskn visual display terminaln keyboardn workstation accessories A checklist is given below of the different components (chair, desk etc.) of the workstation and the criteria that make each component a good ergonomic design. A yes or no indicates whether the criterion is present or not. Additional comments are given where necessary. Chair (typist s chair)1. Height-adjustable; adjustment controls within easy reach2. Backrest has adjustable inclination and locks at any incline3. Backrest has well-formed lumbar pad4. Backrest is height-adjustable5. Seat pan has waterfall front edge6. Has 5-point base on castors7. Able to swivel through 360.8. Chair is stable (does not wobble)9. Fabric is permeable10. Seat is 38-42cm from back to front11. Seat is 40-45cm across12. Armrests are height adjustable Desk1. Desk is at least 900 mm deep2. Desk is 1200-1600mm wide3. Should have a height of 72cm4. Rounded desk edges5. Appropriate colour6. Matt desk surface7. Appropriate surface texture8. Leg space: 60cm at knee height and 80cm at feet9. Leg space: space between upper leg and desk bottom should be at least 17cm10. Presence of obstructions11. Presence of sharp edges under the desk Visual Display Terminal (VDT)1. Adjustable keyboard and screen height2. Adjustable VDT angle3. Screen images are sharply focused, stable and free from flickering4. Screen surface is matt5. Distance from screen to table edge is 50-75cm
6. Screen centre is 90-115cm above floor7. Screen surface is free of dust Keyboard1. Slope is between 10. and 15.2. Approx. 30mm thick at the middle row3. Detached from VDT Workstation Accessories1. Document holder2. Filters3. Footrests4. Task lamps 3. Work space With regard to the office that was evaluated, the territorial space is adequate. The office is spacious and the individual experiences no problems with regard to his personal space. This can clearly be seen in the photographs which are provided as appendices. 4. Work environment Two elements are relevant to the work environment, namely the physical environment and the psychological environment. The physical environment consists of the factors that influence the person s physical well-being (health). These factors include noise, heat, ventilation, lighting, toxic substances, and colour. With regard to the office that was evaluated, most of the above-mentioned factors did not appear to pose any problems, although the following were mentioned:n the street traffic is rather noisy at timesn the air conditioner can also be noisy sometimesn the lighting in the office could be improved slightlyOn the positive side it can be mentioned that the office s colour is a stylish blend of greys and blues which provides a pleasant atmosphere to work in. Aside from the fact that the individual s office provides a comfortable working environment, it was observed that his psychological environment is also good. The company s organisational climate is conducive to high levels of morale, motivation and satisfaction. 5. Photographs Eight appendices are included at the end of the report. A key is given below.Appendix 1The entrance to the officeAppendix 2 The typist s chairAppendix 3The draughtsman s chairAppendix 4Another typist chairAppendix 5The computer workstationAppendix 6The secretary busy at her deskAppendix 7A view of the office. The employee is sitting in an executive chair Appendix 8A view of the office environment 6. Recommendations and concluding remarks The office that was evaluated met almost all of the standards that are necessary for a well-designed working environment. The only improvements that may be suggested are the following:n The noise levels seem to trouble the employee at times (ie. the air conditioner and street traffic). Perhaps something could be done about this: maintenance should check if the a/c needs repairing. Not much could be done about the noisy traffic, but if the a/c doesn t make so much noise, the employee would make more use of it and then not have to open the window (thereby reducing traffic noise).n The lighting in the office should be improved if it is troubling the employee. REFERENCES n Office ergonomics class notes 1998 – by Prof Jan van Tondern Blignaut, C.J.H. (1988) Ergonomics for behavioural scientists. Johannesburg: RAU.