Assessment of the Ergonomic Quality of Hand-Held Tools and Computer InputDevices
The International Ergonomics Association (IEA) is currently developing standards for Ergonomic Quality in Design (EQUID) which primarily intends to promote ergonomics principles and the adaptation of a process approach for the development of products, work systems and services. It is important to assess the ergonomic quality of products, hand-held tools and computer input devices through working processes that represent reality. Well-designed working tools can be expected to reduce or eliminate fatigue, discomfort, accidents and health problems and they can lead to improvements in productivity and quality. Furthermore, absenteeism, job turnover and training costs can positively be influenced by the working tools and the environment. Not all these short-term and long-term issues of working tools can be quantified in pragmatically oriented ergonomic research approaches. But multi-channel electromyography, which enables the measurement of the physiological costs of the muscles involved in handling tools during standardized working tests, and subjective assessments of experienced subjects enable a reliable insight in the essential ergonomic criteria of working tools and products. In this respect it is advantageous to provide a test procedure, in which working tests can be carried out alternating both with test objects and reference models.