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human engineering

the study of the interface between people and technology with the objective of achieving a better ‘fit’ between the two. The twin objectives of ergonomics are the interrelated ones of improvements in efficiency and the provision of better working conditions. For instance, an ergonomist would be concerned to ensure that a typist's chair is of the right height to avoid back and arm strains. As well as minimizing employee dissatisfaction this would prevent productivity from being impaired by physical injury. In more complex technological environments the ergonomist is also concerned with the distribution of functions between human operators and the technology itself.

Ergonomics grew out of SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT, one strand of which was concerned with the development of technology that could be matched to the task in hand and to the human physique, and human factor psychology (see OCCUPATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY), which was concerned with the impact of environmental factors on work performance.

Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
References in periodicals archive ?
Butwid: The ergonomists primary role is to help engineers designing systems and the workers performing a task pick out the right equipment for the job.
"if your hand is very small, you can't rest it on the mouse pad the same way an adult would," Microsoft ergonomist Dan Odell explains.
As a result of the ergonomist's findings, larger wheels were put on WOWs, which provided some improvement to the force values.
Establishing a working relationship with a professional ergonomist ensures the firm will be kept current with the latest information, Hedge says.
Cllr Fraenkel began her career as an industrial design engineer and ergonomist with London architects before returning to Liverpool.
During the testing hour, the experimenter observed as the "ergonomist" from across the room but did not interact with the participant for the duration of the test session.
Jim Coldwell, a naval architect with Defence Research and Development Canada, and Scott MacKinnon, an ergonomist, conducted the study in a ship-motion simulator at Newfoundland's Memorial University.
If you don't have an ergonomist on staff, train your occupational health nurse, hygienist, or safety manager.
Continuing the company's leadership in the category, each new device is designed by a Microsoft ergonomist with the daily comfort of the user in mind.
"This program puts the focus of intervention where the injuries are," said Connie Miller, Intracorp's director of strategic markets and a certified ergonomist.