Fundamentals of Office Ergonomics
Office managers, safety, and health personnel recognize the imminent necessity of making workplaces comfortable and safer. The federative science and technology of ergonomics (deriving from the Greek word, ergon, epyov—work, and nomos, voµoς—principle or law) has emerged as an interdisciplinary area of study of the man–machine–environment system. The chapter includes a historical trend of emergence of the discipline, with noticeable opening up towards systems orientation, drawing the role of humans in complex systems, the design of equipment and facilities for human use, and environments for comfort and safety. Since the conventional office environment and traditional office organization are fast replaced by the newer office environment, such as VDT workstations, operator–equipment–environment–customer interaction, Office Ergonomics is shaped as a newer domain, both in abstract and in examples. The chapter identifies multiple stressors in computer and office work, such as task-related (cognitive), work-schedule, environmental, psychosocial, role, career-related, traumatic, and organizational stressors. These stressors lead to a multitude of organizational issues, such as absenteeism, decreased employee performance, errors and accidents, healthcare costs, workplace dissension.
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