Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ergonomic Milestones

Historical perspective of ergonomics ...

"Industrial ergonomics is not a new subject. In fact, it has been studied for more than 100 years. Here’s a brief look at significant milestones:

1713
Physician Bernardino Ramazinni, the “father of occupational ergonomics,” writes about work-related complaints that he observes among cobblers and tailors in Padua, Italy.

1857
The term “ergonomics” is first used by Wojciech Jastrzebowski, a Polish scientist.

1911
Frederick W. Taylor publishes Scientific Management. The book summarizes his research on time and motion studies in steel mills and other industrial settings.

1917
Frank and Lillian Gilbreth publish Applied Motion Study. The book explains how hand and arm patterns can be studied to change work habits and eliminate useless steps.

1926
George Elton Mayo begins studying the assembly of telephone relays at Western Electric’s Hawthorne Works in Cicero, IL. The landmark human behavior research examines how fatigue, monotony and supervision affect productivity.

1943
World War II prompts interest in human-machine interaction. Design concepts such as fitting the machine to the size of the operator and using logical control buttons evolve.

1949
Hywel Murrell, a British scientist in charge of the Royal Navy’s motion study unit begins to popularize the term “ergonomics.”

The Ergonomics Research Society is founded in England.

1952
Hywel Murrell creates the world’s first industrial ergonomics department at Tube Investment Ltd.

1953
The German Society for Work Science is founded.

1958
The first ergonomics film, “Fitting the Job to the Worker,” is produced by the British Productivity Council.

1959
An international conference held in Zurich, Switzerland, focuses on the application of ergonomics in industry."    (Continued via Assembly Magazine, Austin Weber)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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