What is Ergonomic Design?
“Ergonomics is the science of work; of the people who do it and the ways it is done; the tools and equipment they use, the places they work in, and the psychosocial aspects of the working situation” .
In this context, Ergonomic Design is about the adoption of user-centered design principles to ensure the physical work environment, including the tools and equipment, have the best possible match with the users and the tasks they will be performing.
Why is it important?
Achieving a match between your users’ capabilities and limitations, and their work environment has many potential benefits:
• Increase productivity and task performance
• Improve ease of use and user satisfaction
• Eliminate or mitigate user error potential
• Eliminate or minimise risk of injury
The application of ergonomic design principles allows you to achieve a good fit between your users and their operational and maintenance environments.
The SYSTRA HF team has extensive knowledge of the ergonomics, anthropometry, and biomechanics principles that underpin good ergonomic design. We utilise the industry leading Digital Human Modelling (DHM) software, Santos, to simulate human interactions within a virtual environment. This enables our human factors consultants to evaluate designs using anthropometrically and biomechanically accurate mannequins, that accurately represent our target user population. When working with a virtual model, design changes can be made and their impact assessed within a matter of minutes.
Santos may look like a computer game but this powerful piece of software requires a detailed understanding of ergonomics to really harness the benefits of digital human modelling within ergonomic design. Our consultants utilise Santos as a tool within our overall human factors design and assurance program. When combined in this way, Santos is an excellent method for design evaluation, visualisation, and provides scientifically backed assurance evidence.
 Bodyspace: Anthropometry, Ergonomics and the Design of Work, Second Edition