Ergonomics design and evaluation
Ergonomics and human factors have been an integral component of our research since 1969; starting with the examination of musculoskeletal disorders in mining and understanding the impact of poor ergonomic design in high-risk environments. This has been both in the evaluation of the impact of poor ergonomics design as well as consideration of ergonomics in the design of work, workplaces, equipment, jobs and thermal environments.
Our experience in this area includes workplace and equipment design and evaluation. We have a long history of evaluating the impact of PPE including fire kit, breathing apparatus, chemical, nuclear and biological protection and other protective equipment. In relation to work and job design, our expertise includes required assessments for manual handling and display screen equipment but also reverse engineering of work systems to ensure that manual handling is removed if identified as a risk factor.
Our team is also able to consider human capabilities in relation to work to ensure that work is designed to be carried out safely by everyone in the team. This is both from a physical and psychosocial risk viewpoint to ensure that capabilities are matched without over-stretching the workforce. In evaluating work and work structure, we are able to apply ergonomics and human factors principles to workplaces to find out how tasks are allocated and if there are high-risk work tasks needing further investigation or understaffing within the system design. We also apply this at an organisational and individual level to problem solve.
Our research has also looked at new ways of working including the impact of digitalisation on physical and mental health and now continuing to look at automation and autonomous robots. We apply ergonomics' methodologies to new ways of work to identify and manage risks.