Importance of Ergonomics in Job Design

Statistic show that more than 1.8 million workplace injuries occur on yearly basis resulting from motions such as lifting, bending, and typing. These injuries, no doubt, cost employers lost productivity, medical benefits, and lost time payments. Therefore, ergonomics is an important element of job design Opens in new window.

Ergonomics is the study of people at work and the practice of matching the features of products and jobs to human capabilities, preference, and the limitations of those who are to perform a job.

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By definition, ergonomics is an interdisciplinary approach to designing equipment and systems that can be easily and efficiently used by human beings.

Ergonomics focuses on ensuring that jobs are designed for safe and efficient work while improving the safety, comfort, and performance of users. In short, it seeks to fit the job to the person rather than the person to the job.

Additionally, ergonomics attempts to minimize the harmful effects of carelessness, negligence, and other human fallibilities that otherwise may cause product defects, damage to equipment, or even the injury or death of employees. Alan Hedge, professor of ergonomics at Cornell University, notes, “The goal of sound ergonomics is to boost employee performance while reducing injuries and errors.”

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