Ergonomics of machine guarding:
As explained by W.T. Singleton in ILO Encyclopedia, literal meaning of ‘ergonomics‘ is the study – measurement- organization of work. Ergonomics of machine guarding is concerned with making purposeful human activities more effective. The focus of. study is the person interacting with the engineering environment. The designer should consider complexity arising from human nature and his limitations. To consider human factors it studies anatomy, anthropometry, bio mechanics, psychology as useful sciences To consider design aspect of work, systems, workspace, environment interface and work situation, studies technology. Thus an ergonomist is expected to take and over-all view and identify the key design aspects for particular people engaged in particular tasks.
As explained by K. Kogi a Regional Advisor to ILO, ergonomics is a useful tool for fitting work to people; not people to ‘work, ‘Ergo means work and‘ nomos‘, means habits or law. Thus ergonomics is for the purpose of solving the problems of work habits. It requires designing of proper workspace, working posture, reach, display, communication, sills, work intensity, sufficient time for rest, good environment clear understanding and providing platforms or lift tables, carts transport ways, proper storage racks, buffer stocks, good lighting, ventilation and house-keeping, proper guards and good welfare facilities. Thus ergonomic principles’ include comfortable posture, balanced and easy motions, adequate rest and enough variety.
Explaining the historical part, King and Magid state in their book that this word was first used in 1949 when the society, the Ergonomics Research Society was founded in Britain including anatomists, physiologists psychologists, industrial medical officers, industrial hygienists design engineers work study engineers architects, illuminating engineers and others In USA the terms ‘Human Engineering and ‘Human Factors Engineering’ are used to cover the same field Bio mechanics and Engineering Psychology are other expressions used.
Aims of Ergonomics
Its aims are
- To facilitate what ever a person wishes to do and to ensure that he does it efficiently.
- Efficiency includes effective work without detrimental health effects and minimization of risk to the operator and others.
- To minimize the possibility of human error or mistake.
- To ensure industrial activities with minimal use of energy and materials and without waste resulting from mistakes.
- Develop knowledge and techniques by the combined use of many expertise’s and systems approach.
- To solve human problems, of work performance by considering human factors in design of machines and work and safe job methods.