CRITICALLY EXAMINE RELATIVE EFFECTIVENESS OF HUMAN ENGINEERING OR ERGONOMICS IN RELATION TP NIGERIA ECONOMIC PRODUCTIVITY LEVEL
Human engineering can be describe as an applied science that coordinates the design of devices, systems, and physical working conditions with the capacities and requirements of the worker.
The field of ergonomics is based on scientific studies of ordinary people in work situations and is applied to the design of processes and machines, to the layout of work places, to methods of work, and to the control of the physical environment, in order to achieve greater efficiency of both men and machines An example of an ergonomics study is the evaluation of the effects of screwdriver handle shape, surface material and workpiece orientation on torque performance, finger force distribution and muscle activity in a maximum screwdriving torque task. Another example of an ergonomics study is the effects of shoe traction and obstacle height on friction. Similarly, many topics in ergonomics deal with the actual science of matching man to equipment and encompass narrower fields such as Engineering Psychology.
At one point in time, the term human factors was used in place of ergonomics in Europe. Human factors involve interdisciplinary scientific research and studies to seek to realize greater recognition and understanding of the worker’s characteristics, needs, abilities, and limitations when the procedures and products of technology are being designed. This field utilizes knowledge from several fields such as mechanical engineering, psychology, and industrial engineering to design instruments.
Human factors is broader than engineering psychology, which is focused specifically on designing systems that accommodate the information-processing capabilities of the brain.
Although the work in the respective fields differs, there are some similarities between these. These fields share the same objectives which are to optimize the effectiveness and efficiency with which human activities are conducted as well as to improve the general quality of life through increased safety, reduced fatigue and stress, increased comfort, and satisfaction.
EFFECTIVENESS OF HUMAN ENGINEERING
1. Human Engineers contribute to the design of a variety of products, including dental and surgical implements, cameras, toothbrushes and bucket seats for cars.
2. They have been involved in the redesign of the mailbags used by letter carriers. More than 20 percent of letter carriers suffer from musculoskeletal problems such as lower back pain from carrying mailbags slung over their shoulders.
3. A mailbag with a waist-support strap, and a double bag that requires the use of both shoulders, have been showed to reduce muscle fatigue.
4. Research by human engineering has demonstrated that using cell phones while driving degrades performance by increasing driver reaction time, particularly among older drivers, and can lead to higher accident risk among drivers of all ages. These and similar research findings are instigating state regulation of cell phone use.
The term human-factors engineering is used to designate equally a body of knowledge, a process, and a profession. As a body of knowledge, human-factors engineering is a collection of data and principles about human characteristics, capabilities, and limitations in relation to machines, jobs, and environments. As a process, it refers to the design of machines, machine systems, work methods, and environments to take into account the safety, comfort, and productiveness of human users and operators. As a profession, human-factors engineering includes a range of scientists and engineers from several disciplines that are concerned with individuals and small groups at work.