Indexed on: 09 Sep '08Published on: 09 Sep '08Published in: Applied Ergonomics
Managers usually associate ergonomics with occupational health and safety and related legislation, not with business performance. In many companies, these decision makers seem not to be positively motivated to apply ergonomics for reasons of improving health and safety. In order to strengthen the position of ergonomics and ergonomists in the business and management world, we discuss company strategies and business goals to which ergonomics could contribute. Conceptual models are presented and examples are given to illustrate: (1) the present situation in which ergonomics is not part of regular planning and control cycles in organizations to ensure business performance; and (2) the desired situation in which ergonomics is an integrated part of strategy formulation and implementation. In order to realize the desired situation, considerable changes must take place within the ergonomics research, education and practice community by moving from a health ergonomics paradigm to a business ergonomics paradigm, without losing the health and safety goals.