How to become an Ergonomist

Ergonomists consider human capabilities and apply theory, principles, data and methods to design optimal solutions for human wellbeing and overall system performance.

Personal requirements for an Ergonomist

  • Tactful and diplomatic
  • Able to work independently or as part of a team
  • Good communication skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Discretion and respect for confidentiality and privacy
  • Integrity and honesty.

Duties & Tasks of an Ergonomist

Ergonomists may perform the following tasks:

  • Determine the demands placed on people by their activities, equipment, environment and systems in different contexts
  • Identify the factors affecting people and their performance in various settings
  • Develop and recommend options for ergonomic interventions
  • Educate clients in the safe use and maintenance of the specialised equipment or systems prescribed
  • Evaluate the quality and outcome of ergonomic interventions
  • Conduct audits to gain insight on how to improve systems
  • Develop and conduct appropriate ergonomics-related education and training
  • Promote the application of ergonomics and contribute to ergonomic research.

Working conditions for an Ergonomist

Ergonomists work in a variety of settings, depending on the specific specialisation of their job. They often work in design, risk management, occupational health and safety, transport safety, patient safety and many other areas. They may spend time in settings such as offices, laboratories, industrial facilities, teaching environments or retail settings.


Specializations

Ergonomists typically specialise in one or more of three main areas:

  • -Physical Ergonomics - is concerned with anatomical, physiological and biomechanical characteristics, such as posture, and how they relate to physical activity. Physical ergonomics is also concerned with the impact of environmental factors, such as heat, light, sound and vibration, on physical performance. -Cognitive Ergonomics - is concerned with the affect of mental processes, such as perception, memory, decision making, stress and fatigue, on interactions between humans and their environment. -Organisational Ergonomics - is concerned with the optimisation of organisational functioning, by considering the impact of factors such as communication, teamwork, work-design, fatigue and job rotation.

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