PSYCH-105 Industrial Psychology
Chapter 11: Work Environment
Engineering psychology is an applied field of psychology concerned with psychological factors in the design and use of equipment. Engineering psychology is an interdisciplinary part of ergonomics and studies the relationships of people to machines, with the aim of improving such relationships. This may involve redesigning equipment, changing the way people use machines or changing the location in which the work takes place. Often, the work of an engineering psychologist is described as making the relationship more “user friendly”. Its various fields are ergonomics, human factors, applied experimental psychology and cognitive engineering. We are focusing on ergonomics only.
ERGONOMICS (HUMAN ENGINEERING)
It is defined as the scientific study of the relationship between man and his working environment. It combines the knowledge of the psychologist, physiologist, anatomist, engineer, anthropologist and a biometrician. Ergonomics is concerned with “fitting” the job to the worker.
Aspects of Ergonomics
Machine should be designed such that the worker and those nearby should be protected against dangers of accidents.
Machine operator should be able to sit and do his job. If it is not possible, rest pauses must be given.
3. Ease of use
Bulky items should be handed mechanically or the machine to be handled should have proper controls at the right place so that the worker needs to make less effort in operating it.
4. Productivity / performance
Good working conditions not only motivate the worker to improve his performance but also take care of the mental and physical health of the worker.
Signs, posters, charts etc., in the work place make the workplace not only aesthetically pleasing but also gives useful information.
Need of Engineering Psychology
Human engineering emphasises that machinery, equipment and tools should be designed to suit the human operator and not vice versa. It include the following:
- Tools and materials should be arranged at work place in such way that the operator can reach them easily.
- Machine control should be installed in the working area so that it is within the reach of the machine operator.
- The machine operator should be permitted to sit while on the job unless the nature of job requires him to stand. If he is required to stand for long hours, he should be given proper rest pauses so as to relax himself.
- There should be proper arrangement to eliminate job safety hazards.
- Good working condition to maintain physical and mental health should be provided like satisfactory lighting and sanitary facilities, etc.