The understanding and practice of ergonomics, concentrated on the knowledge of human characteristics, abilities and needs, plays a fundamental role in satisfying people – whether they are ardent customers, users or workers. In this context ergonomics and quality can be regarded as overall approaches, as philosophies taking account of people in the way things are designed and organized. Given the conceptual similarities and that several indicators point to the fact that poor ergonomics may cause quality deficiencies, there has in recent years been an increased focus on the potential benefits of an integrative approach.
Derived from the Greek ergon (work) and nomos (laws) to denote the science of work, ergonomics is a systems-oriented discipline, which now applies to all aspects of human activity. At times referred to as human factors, it’s a scientific discipline with the understanding of the co-relation of human and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theoretical principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well being and overall system performance. The Nordic Ergonomics Society defines ergonomics as the Interdisciplinary field of science and application considering integrated knowledge of human requirements and needs in the interaction human-technology-environment in the design of technical components and work systems. Practicing ergonomists must have a broad understanding of the full scope of the discipline, taking into account the physical, cognitive, social, organizational, environmental and other relevant factors. Ergonomists often work in particular economic sectors or application domains. These application domains are not mutually exclusive and they evolve constantly. New ones are created; old ones take on new perspectives. Within the discipline, domains of specialization represent deeper competencies in specific human attributes or characteristics of human...
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