About this talk
Representing the Institute of Ergonomics and
Human Factors (IEHF)
Give you an appreciation ergonomics
More than just physical characteristics
How people see the world
Not just me talking
A bit about me
First encountered ergonomics when studying
Design & Technology ‘O’ Level
(ask your parents)
‘A’ Levels – Maths, Chemistry & Physicals
Degree – Chemical Engineering
Applying ergonomic principles to safety
Mostly oil, gas & chemical industry.
What is Ergonomics?
Comes from two Greek words
"ergon", meaning work, and
"nomos" meaning "laws“
What does it mean to you?
To many people
Ergonomics is about the size of people
The application of scientific information
Designing objects and systems to be:
Easy to use (usability);
Used without error (reliability);
Used without causing harm to the person or other
who may be affected (health and safety).
It’s not a new idea
YouTube – Frank Gilbreth – Bricklaying ergonomics
Frank Bunker Gilbreth
1885 – Motion and Fatigue Study of bricklaying
Identified that stooping twice for each brick was
fatiguing and slow
Reduced actions per brick from 18 to 5
Increased bricks laid per hour from 125 to 350.
Let’s study this class
Line up in height order
Clearly the shortest and tallest people have
different ‘reach distances’
Lets take the average person from the class
Stand by the white board and draw lines at the
highest and lowest points you can reach without
stretching or bending
Is this a suitable range for the class?
How should we choose heights that suit all (or
most) of the class?
You don’t usually notice good ergonomics
Easy to use
You don’t need to think about how it works
Bad ergonomics is more noticeable
Can you think of any examples from the home?
How does ergonomics apply to
lift (elevator) floor buttons?
How would you layout the
A building with 5 floors
A building with 30 floors
The Burj Khalifa (160 floors)
Are there specific users we
need to accommodate?
E.g. wheel chair user
Understanding human perception
helps us design for people
Middle of the screen
At the edge
Italics – Bold - Underline
RightLeft More – Noticeable - Less
YouTube – Sense of Urgency Video
Smoking room experiment
Alone – 75% responded to the alarm/smoke
25% did not.
In a group – only 10% responded
The power of peer pressure
People may not always act logically, but
behaviours can be predicted.
Technology – design, usability
Offices – work stations, working environment
Transport - efficiency, safety
Healthcare – medical devices, organisation
Industry – equipment, procedures, health and
Defence – equipment, physical and mental
Sport – equipment, human performance
Ergonomics as a first degree
First combined with another discipline
Second degree (MSc)
Transition from another discipline