Original Research

Ergonomics - Future Perspectives

E. J. McCormick
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | : Perspectives on Industrial Psychology| a271 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v0i0.271 | © 1976 E. J. McCormick | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 November 1976 | Published: 27 November 1976

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E. J. McCormick, Purdue University, United States

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Abstract

Ergonomics (a synonym for human factors engineering) has contributed significantly to fundamental effectiveness of people, but needs a new emphasis and wider applications in future. A basic distinction is drawn between the areas of application and the focus of ergonomists. Although applications have been relatively successful in the military and industrial fields, ergonomics should also be applied to consumer products, architecture, transportation and recreation. In future, the primary challenge will be to improve the "quality of life" by enhancing human satisfaction and allowing people to function at higher value levels. In work activities the basic task of ergonomics has been to simplify and standardise jobs, but future focus should be on enlargement and enrichment of jobs. Because of individual differences probably not all jobs could be made completely satisfactory to all workers. However, significant contributions could be made through continued efforts to “humanise” work activities.

Opsomming
Ergonomika ('n sinoniem vir "human factors engineering") het reeds heelwat bygedra tot die doeltreffende funksionering van die mens, maar nuwe gesigspunte en toepassingsvelde sal in die toekoms nodig wees. 'n Fundamentele onderskeid word getref tussen die gebiede van toepassing en die fokus van beoefenaars van die ergonomika. Hoewel toepassings in die militêre en industriële sfere redelik suksesvol was, behoort ergonomiese beginsels ook op verbruikerswese, argitektuur, vervoer en ontspanning toegepas te word. Die grootste uitdaging in die toekoms sal egter wees om "lewenskwaliteit" te verbeter deur tevredenheid te verhoog en mense te help om doeltreffender te leef en in die proses hoër waardevlakke te handhaaf. In werksaktiwiteite was die hoofdoel tot dusver om werk te standaardiseer en te vereenvoudig, maar dit word al hoe noodsaakliker dat poste verruim en verryk moet word. Waarskynlik sal alle poste nie vir alle bekleërs volkome bevredigend gemaak kan word nie, maar dit sou tog nuttig wees om heelwat meer aandag aan die "humanisering" van werksaktiwiteite te gee.


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