Causes for ergonomics analyses
Here the causes for ergonomics analyses are explained
Logistics and production processes are nowadays, depending on the industry, usually subject to a high degree of automation. Industry 4.0 offers companies numerous new innovations. For example, intelligent, independently operating systems are taking on increasingly important positions, some of which can no longer be performed by humans. Nevertheless, there are still tasks that have to be performed by humans due to their complexity or diversity. In these areas, ergonomics analyses come into play. At the same time, the ongoing digital change is not yet complete in all companies or divisions. In this respect, the area of manual work processes and the human factor continues to be of great importance.
Also against the background of demographic change and the shortage of skilled workers, work in human resources is becoming increasingly complex. This makes it all the more important to analyze and optimize manual work processes to increase efficiency and to carry out ergonomic analyses to minimize the physical workload. In many cases, these processes represent an informational "black box", especially when compared to automated sub-processes. Inefficiencies are perceived, but can only be quantified within the framework of an ergonomics analysis. This also applies, for example, to the recognition of incorrect postures or repetitive activities, which are revealed in an ergonomics analysis.
Basics of the ergonomics analysis
Here the basics of the ergonomics analysis are explained
In ergonomics, human or automated work processes are considered and analyzed. Ergonomics analyses form the basis for optimizing measures so that the product of the service provided can be used in the best possible way. The ergonomics analyses focus, among other things, on the working conditions of employees and the work process. A further concern of the ergonomics analysis is the adaptation of the working conditions to the employees so that they can work as fatigue-free and gently as possible even after years of activity at their workplace and suffer no physical damage. In the foreground of the ergonomics analysis is user-friendliness, i.e. the optimization of the working environment, the company and nowadays especially the human-machine interface. People who carry out ergonomics analyses, or who also deal with ergonomics on a full-time basis are called ergonomists.
The basic standard DIN EN ISO 26800 Ergonomics - General approach, principles and terms, can be used for orientation, especially for objectives, principles and procedures.
Goals of the ergonomics analysis
Here the goals of the ergonomics analysis are explained
The object of ergonomics is to create products that are easy to use and comfortable, and to use them in a targeted manner in companies based on the data obtained from the ergonomics analysis.
Furthermore, based on the ergonomics analysis, the ergonomic design of the activity is aimed at, whereby the main goal is to ensure an efficient and error-free workflow and to protect the employee from health hazards even after several years of work. Ergonomics or the ergonomics analyses thus play a special role in preventive occupational safety, the health of employees and the economy. This also means that tools and machines must be durable and designed with as little risk as possible.
Ergonomics analyses always come into play in working environments when an employee comes into contact with machines, aids or other objects during working hours or other activities. In the future, this will also apply to human-free production lines (robots).
Ergonomics analyses in the various fields
Here the ergonomics analyses in the different fields are explained
In the ergonomics analysis different fields of ergonomics can be distinguished. Usually, a distinction is made between product ergonomics (micro-ergonomics) and production ergonomics (macro-ergonomics). With highly complex human-machine systems, the transition between the two sub-fields is usually fluid, because the later context of use is also largely responsible for ergonomic product development. For example, when designing work equipment, the operating conditions such as working environment and work task should always be considered and taken into account.
Ergonomics as the link between work, technology and human beings is an interdisciplinary science, which consequently comprises an extremely comprehensive complex of topics of work and system design of interacting scientific sub-areas.
Thus, for example, in the ergonomics analysis with regard to system ergonomics, the distribution of tasks between man and machine, the degree of automation or the boundary conditions of the man-machine interface resulting from system integration are taken into account. An ergonomics analysis in the context of spatial workplace design deals with the survey and description of the human body and the movements to be performed.
Due to the fact that ergonomics sees itself as an interface between man and technology, the human sciences play a major role in this area. Questions concerning the physiological characteristics of the human being - especially with regard to his physical performance - are investigated in ergonomics analyses in the field of occupational physiology. The interactions between human work and human health are the subject of occupational medicine.
While occupational psychology deals with questions of ergonomics from a psychological point of view, technical psychology focuses on the design of human-machine systems. The spectrum of topics ranges from the reliability of the individual to questions regarding psychological concepts for the evaluation of human-machine systems and human-machine interfaces, as well as aspects of perception and cognitive psychology.
Ergonomics analyses - detection of over- and underloads
Here the ergonomic analyses - recognition of over- and underloading are explained
In an ergonomics analysis of workplace design, the physical strain is primarily considered. Environmental factors such as climate, color, noise, vibrations, anthropometry and psychological stress at the workplace also have an influence.
The locomotor system, the supporting apparatus of the human body, is composed of bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and connective tissue. It can be stressed both by overuse and underuse. The unhealthy stress situations are identified in ergonomic analyses and corrected accordingly.
By eliminating the bad movement sequences on the basis of the ergonomics analysis, sick days and absences from work on the part of employees can be avoided. Back diseases make up the largest share of musculoskeletal disorders.
Overloading of the musculoskeletal system can be detected by the ergonomics analysis. These include, for example, overstraining caused by lifting, carrying, pulling or pushing loads, working in forced postures, repetitive activities and working with a lot of force. Understrain can be caused by lack of movement (e.g. in office or driving activities).
An ergonomics analysis reveals unfavorable ergonomic conditions at the workplace, which lead to tension and sometimes serious health problems such as herniated disks or chronic neck pain. Long-term, static work (e.g. at a desk) should therefore only be carried out with ergonomically designed furniture. In addition to the ergonomic office furniture, the workplace design is also subjected to close examination in an ergonomics analysis. The arrangement of the work equipment, the visual distance to the screen, the consideration of gripping and movement areas and the lighting of the workplace are important starting points of the ergonomics analysis.
Motion-Mining® Ergonomics Analysis
The advantages of Motion-Mining® ergonomic analyses
Ergonomics analyses within the MotionMining solution approach reveal hidden optimization potentials. The solution approach, based on the ergonomics analysis, allows an evaluation of manual work with wearables (portable sensors, similar to fitness trackers) and a depth learning algorithm, better known as artificial intelligence. Work processes are automatically and anonymously recorded during the ergonomics analysis, processed by artificial intelligence and converted into human-readable key figures. Currently, we distinguish between more than 60 different movement sequences in our ergonomics analyses. Critical movements such as bending over from the back, carrying, lifting, holding, and overhead activities are considered in the ergonomics analysis. These movements are recorded in movement intervals during the ergonomics analysis. In addition to typical movements, vibrations and repetitions in particular can be detected. Based on the data from the ergonomics analysis, overloading and permanent stress can be detected and measures for prevention can be derived.
Usually such efficiency and ergonomics analyses, such as MTM, REFA or Leitmerkmalmethode, are performed manually. These methondes of efficiency and ergonomics analyses are therefore extremely time-consuming, specific and require a deeper process understanding. Traditionally, these efficiency and ergonomics analyses are, for example, recorded and then evaluated by a trained process engineer using a stopwatch and clipboard. Since the process engineer accompanies an individual employee throughout the entire duration of the efficiency and ergonomics analyses and uses photo or video analyses, among other things, for documentation purposes, such efficiency and ergonomics analyses are generally not anonymous. On the other hand, efficiency and ergonomics analyses with motion mining are anonymous for the entire recording period and the subsequent analysis. When evaluating an ergonomics analysis only average values are used, i.e. at least two data tracks are evaluated.