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Keynote: The hidden relationship between ergonomics and quality
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics. Helix, LiU. (Ergonomics)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5338-0586
2017 (English)In: 48th Annual Conference of the Association of Canadian Ergonomists, 2017Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

SUMMATIVE STATEMENT 

There is strong evidence that insufficient ergonomics cause quality deficiencies in production. Despite this, it has not yet been accepted that ergonomics is an important production factor. Reasons for this situation and possible actions are discussed.

 

PROBLEM STATEMENT 

The scientific literature reports many examples of relationships between ergonomics and quality. However, this knowledge has not been sufficiently systematized for ergonomics to become generally accepted as a production factor.

 

RESEARCH OBJECTIVE

The objective of this paper is to summarize different perspectives on the relationship between ergonomics and quality, and to discuss the formation of this knowledge on a generalized level.

 

RESULTS

There is a large number of studies and reviews that have identified strong relationships between the quality performance of individuals and different ergonomics aspects such as light, noise, vibration, ventilation, climate, cognition and physical ergonomics. Further, there are also a large number of studies that have identified a relationship between ergonomics and quality output for the organization in different production settings. There are also examples when causality has been shown. All together, this evidence point to that good ergonomics is a precondition for quality performance, in other words an important production factor.

 

DISCUSSION

The strong relationship between ergonomics and quality might be accepted within the ergonomics discipline, but not as a production factor and not in working life. TQM and Lean address quality and some aspects of work design as important production factors. There are many reasons why it is not generally recognized that ergonomics is an important production factor. Some of them might be that the research literature is not explicit on this point, the ergonomics knowledge is not spread to the production discipline, and that ergonomics is seen an additional luxury for the employees, provided when the economy of the organization is sufficiently strong. Still another reason might be that there are also examples of how ergonomics improvements can be shown to be unprofitable for the organization.

 

CONCLUSIONS  

A large number of research studies show strong evidence that insufficient ergonomics cause quality deficiencies in production, both on an individual and on an organizational level, confirming that ergonomics is a production factor. It is a problem that this knowledge is not formed, disseminated and accepted by production engineers and managers.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
Performance, TQM, Work environment, Disturbances, Production
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-220796OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-220796DiVA, id: diva2:1171345
Conference
48th Annual Conference of the Association of Canadian Ergonomists: 12th International Symposium on Human Factors in Organizational Design and Management, Banff, Alberta, Canada
Note

QC 20180109

Available from: 2018-01-07 Created: 2018-01-07 Last updated: 2018-01-09Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Other links

https://ace-ergocanada.ca/files/ACE_2017/ACE-ODAM%202017%20eProceedings_sm.pdf

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Eklund, Jörgen

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