According to Hendrick and Kleiner (2002), “Macroergonomics is a perspective, a methodology, and a recognized sub-discipline of ergonomics/human factors” (p.3). This essentially involves the application of human system interface technologies through the inclusion of human, social, and technical aspects of in the fulfilment of ergonomic factors. “The overall goal of the discipline is to improve the human condition, including health, safety, comfort, productivity, and quality of life” (Hendrick & Kleiner, 2002).
Macroergonomics entails a study of several interfaces in enhancing significant human interaction levels. These entail human-machine interface, human-environment interface, human-job interface, and human-organization interface (Hendrick & Kleiner, 2002). In addressing these various key components of the various interfaces, there is need to develop specific technologies in a bid to address the arising contextual issues. In essence, these are elements that affect the successful implementation of the work system design.
The implementation of macroergonomics usually involves the pursuance of several feasible mechanisms, which include top down approach, bottom-up approach, and middle out analysis inclusive of an evaluation mechanism (Hendrick & Kleiner, 2002). These entail the key implementation concepts that have essentially been put to application on a wide scale in various human drive systems. The aim is to enhance operation standards through the establishment of application objectives, relevant stakeholder involvement, proper scientific assessment of the processes, and application of chosen technology options in various human interfaces. For instance, during scientific assessment of various human interface processes to establish some of the emerging gaps, this would involve a study of the various human body dimensions in order to affirm aspects of proportionality and operational ability. In certain experimental study carried out to establish the respective human interface capabilities, stratified sampling mechanism was used to collect random samples from 40 female and 40 male subjects (Kumar, 1998). The respective body dimensions being measured consisted of stature, body depth, elbow height, slump body weight, thigh clearance, and reach distance among other variables body structures. Regression models were used to generate the much needed statistical analytical data. Results for estimation of reach distances came out with various points for analysis. At the end of the research it was established that, “It is possible to estimate the maximum work area, and 3-D workspace volumes from only six human body dimensions with a high degree of accuracy” (Kumar, 1998).
Moreover, the fact that macroergonomics entails a component of occupational health and safety; it therefore fundamentally focuses upon the prevention of occurrence of occupationally related accidents through application of proper technological solution and design of the work system in focus. This takes into account the application of ergonomic factors of mechanical stress, force, position, and frequency (Kumar, 1998). In an experimental study to reduce the probability of occurrence of ergonomics related workplace injuries in a manufacturing industry, the following criterion was used: damaging wrist motions (max. Allowable 1000 per hour), pinch grip force (max. Allowable 8 pounds), power grip force (max. Allowable 25 pounds), push force (max allowable 24 pounds); pull force (max. Allowable 18 pounds), static force exertion (max. Allowable 60 seconds), extreme positions (max. 0 per cycle), and mechanical stress-max. Allowable 0 per cycle (Kumar, 1998). The results derived were used to generate workable solutions in pursuance of macroergonomic principles. This took into account the ergonomic risk factors and the respective work cycles in order to eliminate them. After implementation of desired changes, a different assessment was carried out to establish changes that had occurred.
The propose solutions involved things like training operators on proper adjustment, configuration of shelves to suit required heights, and angling shelves among others (Kumar 1998). These represent some of the applicability measures pursued following the respective concepts and principles of macroergonomics earlier mentioned.
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