A multi-level systems approach for the development of tools, equipment and work processes for the construction industry.Appl Ergon. 2005 Jul; 36(4):471-80.AE
Ergonomics is a key issue in the construction industry. Many work tasks and associated equipment and tools are not designed with ergonomics principles in mind. Often, in the development of power tools for construction, any attention to ergonomics is restricted to the human-machine interface and handle design. The need for ergonomics intervention in the development process originates from considerations of safety, health, physical work load, and productivity. It is argued that in each of these respects, the construction industry has lower standards than other industries and therefore has a need and opportunity for improvement. A multi-level ergonomics approach is proposed addressing these issues. The approach defines five levels of ergonomics intervention, from designing individual tools for safety, to designing wider aspects of construction and work flow for optimal productivity. This holistic approach is illustrated using case study examples of the development of power tools and work methods.