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Multidisciplinary approaches in ergonomics

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Introduction

´╗┐Multidisciplinary approaches in Ergonomics In the redesign of an assembly or packing line a multidisciplinary team of medical and technical representatives work collectively to identify, evaluate, and control risks to employees whilst maintaining productivity for the company concerned. Those who contribute to the redesigning of industrial equipment, such as assembly or packing lines, include professionals with a variety of expertise, including the occupational health nurse, occupational therapist, occupational hygienist, physiotherapist, ergonomist, human resource staff, and the design engineers. The role of each representative from the seven groups will often overlap, the objective for all however is to identify health hazards in the workplace and eliminate them, protecting workers from the primary sources of health risks whilst designing proficient equipment that makes the best of the workers potential without exceeding their physical and psychological capacity. The role of the occupational health nurse is to provide nursing care in the work environment to employees and others with injury and illness. The nurse gives emergency care, prepares accident reports, and arranges further treatment or care if required. ...read more.

Middle

Final design will take into account the positioning of controls with provision for sufficient space for the physical movements required of the operator, the design of controls to require forces that are within the capabilities of the worker. By fitting the design of equipment and work methods to the physical and cognitive capabilities of workers, ergonomists act directly upon some important primary causes of occupational ill-health and injury (Corlett & Clark, 1995; Quinlan & Bohle, 1991; Wilson & Corlett, 1995). The redesign may also require investigation into the body forces required for movements such as shifting levers, or lifting weights, the forces impinging on muscles, joints, and other parts of the body in various postures. The role of the physiotherapist is to utilize ergonomics in order to remove causative factors from the working environment and to prevent musculoskeletal injury (Grandjean, 1980; Wilson, 2002). The physiotherapists' specialized knowledge of body motion and skills in movement analysis make a valuable contribution to the physical aspects of ergonomic design. ...read more.

Conclusion

Their aim is to increase effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction at work. Organizations are deeply concerned about the need to recruit, retain and realize the potential of their human resources on which success depends. Occupational psychologists are the best qualified group to advise on human resource strategies and solutions (Wilson, 2002; Quinlan & Bohle, 1991). In conclusion, provision of a working environment that is safe and of minimal risk to health, whilst maintaining productivity and efficiency, is important to both an employer and their employees. To achieve this existing design of equipment may require upgrading and redesign. A holistic approach with a multidisciplinary team of experts is necessary to obtain an optimal work environment. Those who contribute to the redesigning of industrial equipment, include the occupational health nurse, occupational therapist, occupational hygienist, physiotherapist, ergonomist, human resource staff, and the design engineers. The role of each representative from these groups will often overlap, the objective for all however is to identify health hazards in the workplace and eliminate them, protecting workers from the primary sources of health risks whilst designing proficient equipment that makes the best of the workers potential without exceeding their physical and psychological capacity. ...read more.

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