Year : 2014  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 100-

Application of principles of ergonomics in medicine

Saurabh R Shrivastava, Prateek S Shrivastava, Jegadeesh Ramasamy 
 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Application of principles of ergonomics in medicine.Indian J Occup Environ Med 2014;18:100-100

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Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Application of principles of ergonomics in medicine. Indian J Occup Environ Med [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 Aug 17 ];18:100-100
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In the occupational health arena, ergonomics refers to the multiple scientific measures which are implemented to enhance the compatibility between the workplace and the worker. [1] These measures are employed after considering worker's potential and restrictions within the workplace environment so that both safety and workers related parameters (namely, comfort, job satisfaction, efficiency, etc.) can be significantly revamped. [2],[3] Furthermore, the ergonomists have to evaluate the type of work and the demands on the worker; the device used (namely, size, shape, and suitability for the work); and the information used (how it is presented, accessed, and modified), before making final recommendations. [2],[4]

The application of ergonomics goes way beyond industrial sector and finds multiple utility in the health sector. Ergonomics allows designing of appropriate layout of workplace; [5] facilitation of healthy work culture (namely, by addressing issues of workload management, shortage of health personnel, and delivery of health related message); [6] employing interactive medical devices; [7] reduction in job related psychological stress; [8] minimizing medication errors; [9] augmenting safety of patients; [10],[11] and even marketing of medicinal commodities. [12]

However, in the modern era the prime interest of ergonomics is to negate work related stressors in order to avoid any health related adverse outcome. [3] These work stressors (namely, forceful exertions, static postures, poor work-station design, etc.) facilitates development of cumulative injuries and thus increases the risk of multiple musculo-skeletal disorders. [4] Furthermore, other health related consequences like chemical/biological/psychosocial hazards, malignancies, accidents, and sickness absenteeism has also been associated with absence of ergonomics. [1],[2],[4]

Considering the wide range of untoward aftermaths associated, there is an indispensable need to streamline the complete process of health care to enable implementation of ergonomically proven measures. [2] This essentially comprises of designing a proper layout for the workplace; increasing awareness about occupational hazards and use of personal protective equipments among health workers; advocating measures for improvement of sanitation within the health care establishments; encouraging periodic clinical assessment of health staffs; and adoption of appropriate engineering measures to facilitate mechanization, reduce work load, and thus enhance patient safety. [1],[2],[6],[10],[11]

In conclusion, in order to improve the health standards of both health workers and patients, there is a definitive need to implement a holistic strategy built on the principles of ergonomics in the health sector.


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