Friday, April 10, 2009


So far, I am talking about ergonomics hazards which affect our physical body (hardware) namely the musculoskeletal system. Based on the definition and concept of ergonomics in my previous ergonomics series posting, it is clear that ergonomics hazards not only affecting our physical body(hardware) but also our psychological domain(software). Before I go into detail about Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), here is the list of the most common and important ergonomics hazards (ergonomics risk factors) :

1. Physical (causing human physical/hardware overburden):
•Loading (lifting and handling)
•Poor posture
•Repetition particularly at high speed
•High forces
•Individual differences e.g. extremes of anthropometry
•Poor equipment and workplace design
(mentioned in my previous postings)
2. Psychological (causing human psychological/software overburden)
Task overload/underload
•Mental workload
•Control over work
•Social support
•Individual differences e.g. poor reaction times,mental ill health
•Poor design of information, displays, controls
•Poor system realiability
•Human error

3. Organizational (can cause both human hardware and software overburden)
•Long working hours
•Shift work
•Short deadlines
•Excessive workload
•Poor staffing levels
•Lack of worker development in system design
*Reference: Oxford handbook of occupational Health (Chapeter 4: pg 156)
It is obvious that ergonomics hazards cause overburden of human physical body in the form of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and also overburden of human psychological domain in the form of STRESS which will affect their mental health.

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