From your visual comfort at the computer screen (ISO 9241) to the mental workload experienced at the office (ISO 10075), ergonomics is at the centre of all types of work situations and how comfortable we are in those working situations.
If ergonomic touches every sector where human comfort at work is involved (e.g. seating in cars), ergonomics pursues as its global aim fitting the workplace to the worker. It involves the application of knowledge about human capacities and limitations to the design of workplaces, jobs, tasks, tools, equipment and the environment.
The goal of ergonomics in the workplace is to prevent injuries and illnesses (work-related musculoskeletal disorders or WMDs) by reducing or eliminating worker exposure to occupational hazards.
Ergonomic requirements are described in many ways and to some extent in slightly differing terms. The basic standard, ISO 6385, Ergonomic principles in the design of work systems, pursues the aim not just of stipulating the principles of ergonomics in relation to the design of work systems but also of describing a framework concept in the best sense of a base standard, on which other standards on specific topics can be based.
ISO 6385 offers a route to improving the interface between individual users and the components of their working situation - such as tasks, equipment, workspace and environment - right from the beginning of the design process.
The standard provides a framework for the design of new or existing work systems, with a view to facilitating the work behaviour and well-being of users, from office staff to assembly-line workers. Its guidance may also apply to the design of products for domestic and leisure activities.
In addition to ISO 6385, the complete set of standards of ISO/TC 159 take account of the aims of preventive industrial safety, increasing the performance of man-system interaction and improving the cost-effectiveness of the complete system.
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