Tuesday, June 03, 2008

What do ergonomists do?

Article entitled "Ergonomists: Light relief for desk-bound employees" in The Independent Career Planning Section on 22 May 2008 by Caroline Roberts.

Suzanne Heape, an ergonomist with experience in a wide variety of consultancy work, is quoted. She "relishes the problem-solving aspect of her career, and also enjoys helping people."

"In workplace assessments, you spend time watching people at their desks or at manual work stations, looking at their posture, adjusting equipment and assessing the general environment, such as heating and lighting."

"Collaborating with workers in other professions can be challenging, because some lack awareness of the importance of ergonomics."

Liz Butterworth, a principal ergonomist with consultancy Human Engineering, is also quoted. "Almost every major accident has some element of human error involved, so the emphasis is on supporting people in the tasks that they do and reducing the chances of them making mistakes," she says. "We help establish the requirements and ensure they are captured by the people doing the design."

"To be a successful ergonomist, you need to be methodical, and good at listening to people and gathering information. Communication skills are also important, because you must be able to convey complex information in a way that clients can understand."

Andy Brazier

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