An International Survey of Tools and Methods Used by Certified Ergonomics Professionals

  • Patrick G. DempseyEmail author
  • Brian D. Lowe
  • Evan Jones
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 820)


A survey of certified ergonomics professionals was conducted in 2017 by NIOSH researchers to understand the types of basic tools, observational methods, and direct measurement methods used by ergonomics professionals. This survey served to update findings from a previous survey of Certified Professional Ergonomists (CPEs) in the United States that was reported in 2005. The 2017 survey was expanded to include ergonomists certified in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Great Britain, and Ireland. The 2005 survey content was used with the addition of technologies that were not available in 2005 (e.g., mobile devices and mobile applications) and tools likely to be of use by ergonomists outside the U.S. Overall, the participation rate was 34% (405 of 1,192 surveys that reached recipients) which was lower than the response rate of 53% for the 2005 survey. This may have been related to differences in the receipt format (postal versus internet) between the two surveys. The results for U.S. ergonomists were similar across both surveys for the most part, but there were also a number of differences. Differences across country/region were pronounced for some items, but similar for basic tools and several popular assessment tools. Overall, the results suggest that ergonomists gravitate towards inexpensive and efficient tools and methods. The strengths and limitations are discussed with suggestions for future research.


Survey Tools Professional Ergonomists 


  1. Dempsey PG, McGorry RW, Maynard WS (2005) A survey of tools and methods used by certified professional ergonomists. Appl Ergon 36:489–503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Shorrock ST, Williams CA (2016) Human factors and ergonomics methods in practice: three fundamental constraints. Theor Issues Ergon Sci 17:468–482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Stanton N, Young M (1998) Is utility in the mind of the beholder? A study of ergonomics methods. Appl Ergon 29(1):41–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Takala EP, Pehkonen I, Forsman M, Hansson G-Å, Mathiassen SE, Neumann WP, Sjøgaard G, Veiersted KB, Westgaard RH, Winkel J (2010) Systematic evaluation of observational methods assessing biomechanical exposures at work. Scand J Work Environ Health 36(1):3–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pittsburgh Mining Research DivisionNational Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)PittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Division of Applied Research and TechnologyNational Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)CincinnatiUSA

Personalised recommendations