Special Issue "Synergies between Ergonomics and Sustainability for Work-Place Wellbeing—Solutions for Efficient and Effective Occupational Risk Management"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2022) | Viewed by 7136
Interests: industrial ergonomics and human factors; human resources management; sustainable development; organizational dynamics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
The aim of this Special Issue is to present a set of innovative research approaches (literature reviews, good practices and feasible experiences to be transferred) on the deepening knowledge of the synergies between ergonomics and sustainability, to improve well-being at work and to optimize occupational risk management. The mix of ergonomic knowledge and sustainability management has been recognized as having potential for the multi-criteria improvement in different organizational areas, as evidenced by the content of articles published in the journal Ergonomics (vol. 56, no. 3, https://doi.org/10.1080 /00140139.2013.786555, reference volume for the subject). At present, the general need to define a new, normal, real and sustainable context of life and work, after the pandemic, has led to a refresh and repositioning of this knowledge mix to create efficient and effective solutions for occupational risk management.
This Special Issue addresses a large spectrum of theoretical and practical topics; it provides an excellent forum for exploring the ergonomics–sustainability knowledge mix and their transfer from research into organizational practice. The research context of the presented studies could be related to different industries, manufacturing, the logistics and supply chain, health systems exploiting assistive technologies, and education (training, learning) as a way of generating an adequate, responsible behavior related to the minimization of human energy consumption (limit fatigue) and preventing work injuries/accidents. The presented interdisciplinary studies, associated with the articles in this Issue, will reverberate to occupational risk management, which can lead to the increasing of work comfort and productivity, simultaneously and in an integrated manner.
In the context of this Special Issue, we expect research studies and review papers showing different facets of synergies between ergonomics and sustainability for work-place wellbeing. We encourage authors to provide solutions for efficient and effective occupational risk management related to different research contexts, such as: industry, manufacturing, logistics and supply chain, health systems exploiting assistive technologies, education (training, learning) as a way of generating an adequate, responsible behaviour related to the minimization of human energy consumption (limit fatigue) and preventing work injuries/accidents.
The aim of this Special Issue is to present a set of innovative research approaches (literature reviews, good practices, and feasible experiences to be transferred) on the deepening knowledge about the synergies between ergonomics and sustainability sciences (approaches, methods, and tools) to improve well-being at work and to optimize occupational risk management. The research should be supported by best practices and feasible experience from researchers and practitioners.
The idea of integrating the knowledge domains of ergonomics with sustainable development has been strongly promoted and exploited since 2012 (however, it was launched by Moray's notable address to the 12th Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association in Toronto, Canada in 1994). Researchers from different organizations have identified this knowledge niche as an opportunity for solving problems and optimization at the workplace level, system level (production lines, departments, factories, supply chain, etc.), and at the global level. Some representative studies published since then are:
- Hasle, P. and Jensen, P. L. (2012). “Ergonomics and sustainability—challenges from global supply chains.” Work, 41 (Supplement 1), 3906-3913;
- Haslam, R. and Waterson, P. (2013). “Ergonomics and sustainability.” Ergonomics, 56:3, 343-347 (a Special Issue https://doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2013.786555 that has collected relevant opinions on the topic—a milestone in the interdisciplinary approach);
- Thatcher, A. and Yeow, P. H. (2016). “Human factors for a sustainable future.” Applied Ergonomics, 57, 1-7 (a Special Issue https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2016.05.007 that has collected 10 relevant articles on the topic);
- Meyer, F., Eweje, G. and Tappin, D. (2017). “Ergonomics as a tool to improve the sustainability of the workforce.” Work, 57(3), 339-350;
- Thatcher, A. and Yeow, P. (2018). Ergonomics and Human Factors for a Sustainable Future. Palgrave-Macmillan, Singapore (a book of reference in the field of the ergonomics–sustainability knowledge mix, https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-981-10-8072-2);
- Zink, K. J. and Fischer, K. (2018). “Human factors and ergonomics: contribution to sustainability and decent work in global supply chains” In Ergonomics and Human Factors for a Sustainable Future(pp. 243-269). Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore;
- Sadeghi Naeini, H. and Arabshahi, M. (2019). “Occupational Health promotion throughout the synergy between ergonomics and sustainable development aspects.” Health and Safety at Work, 9(2), 113-120;
- Lin, C. J., Belis, T. T. and Kuo, T. C. (2019). “Ergonomics-Based Factors or Criteria for the Evaluation of Sustainable Product Manufacturing” Sustainability, 11(18), 4955;
- Thatcher, A., Zink, K.J and Fischer, K. (2019). Human Factors for Sustainability Theoretical Perspectives and Global Applications (1st edition), CRC Press (the newest book published which is related to the Special Issue topic https://doi.org/10.1201/b22516);
- Brunoro, C. M., Bolis, I., Sigahi, T. F., Kawasaki, B. C. and Sznelwar, L. I. (2020). “Defining the meaning of “sustainable work” from activity-centered ergonomics and psychodynamics of Work's perspectives.” Applied Ergonomics, 89, 103209;
- Thatcher, A., Nayak, R. and Waterson, P. (2020). “Human factors and ergonomics systems-based tools for understanding and addressing global problems of the
twenty-first century.” Ergonomics, 63(3), 367-387.
Most of the published research supporting the idea of existing synergies between ergonomics and sustainability were possible because in 2008, the International Ergonomics Association established a Technical Committee for Human Factors and Sustainable Development (https://iea.cc/member/human-factors-and-sustainable-development/), which was created as an international network and became a knowledge community of about 70 members worldwide. The experts are engaged in one or more of the four defined
Sub-Committees, relating to the following fields of research (being related to topics of concern in the research):
- Theoretical Perspectives on Human Factors and Sustainable Development;
- Sustainability and Risk Management;
- Human Factors and Sustainable Development in Global Value Creation;
- Ergonomics and Design for Sustainability.
Furthermore, the Technical Committee publications and their innovative spirit of investigation are visible through the search results of international databases. This action leads to the identification of a significant number of articles presenting interdisciplinary, cross-border research on the frontier of ergonomic knowledge and sustainability, mostly in journals such as Ergonomics, Applied Ergonomics, International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science and Human Factors, and less in journals related to the sustainability field of science. It seems, therefore, that there are “two parallel worlds” that must unite their efforts to come together to solve major issues in the field of occupational health and safety and welfare at work as well as regarding the concerns about the productivity and performance of systems.
Thus, we consider this Special Issue as an opportunity to increase the usefulness of ergonomics approaches for sustainable development by wider societal attention to sustainability. The brief synthesis of achievements and highlighting the tendency to fragment research in the two fields of science led to the definition of the need for this Special Issue, which brings together contemporary research, thinking and approaches regarding synergies between ergonomics and sustainability.
At the same time, the scientific debate in the field is very intense in the context of the pandemic, which imposes new challenges for: ergonomics at home (in the case of teleworking or home offices), topics related to climate change and cleaner production, the new education paradigm (more on-line and using blended learning techniques) and the need for a new and sustainable normal. As examples of the ergonomics knowledge transfer accelerating process, see the enthusiasm, positive reaction, and valuable guidance (during the COVID-19 pandemic) of ergonomists and professional organizations all over the world on the special section of the International Ergonomics Association web page: https://iea.cc/covid-19-resources/.
With this in mind, we encourage the publication of interdisciplinary studies that support late occupational risk management improvements and optimization, which can lead to looking at health-related issues (e.g. musculoskeletal disorders, occupational diseases, temporary or permanent incapacity for work) and increase work comfort and productivity, simultaneously and in an integrated manner (supporting multi-criteria optimization).
This Special Issue addresses a wide range of theoretical and practical topics, providing an excellent forum for exploring the mix of ergonomic and sustainability management knowledge, as well as their transfer from research to organizational practice. The potential topics of the research presented could be (but are not limited to):
- Ergonomics implications and support for sustainable development initiatives;
- Ergonomics approach in implementation of the social aspect of sustainability;
- Ergonomics and sustainability for logistics and supply chains systems;
- Ergonomics and sustainability for Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0;
- Human factors and ergonomics sustainable world;
- Green ergonomics, ergoecology;
- Sustainability in healthcare ergonomics and design;
- Ergonomics and assistive technologies for workplace wellbeing;
- Occupational Health and Safety (OHS);
- Cognitive ergonomics approaches for sustainable development;
- Workplace wellbeing with respect to system ergonomics and sustainability;
- Ergonomics for occupational risks mitigation;
- Sustainability policies contribution of ergonomics design;
- Business sustainability with ergonomics perspective;
- Organizational ergonomics (macroergonomics) studies for sustainability, etc.
Prof. Dr. Anca Draghici
Prof. Dr. Nicoleta Luminita Carutasu
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- interdisciplinary approach/research/study
- ergonomics/human factors
- ergonomics design
- micro- and macro-ergonomics
- green ergonomics, ergoecology
- sustainable development management
- leadership for sustainability
- human resource management
- human side of enterprise
- human performance
- human–machine interface
- work productivity
- social responsibility
- equity and ethics in work-related processes
- occupational health and safety (OHS)
- occupational risks management
- safety culture
- safety leadership
- preventive behaviour related to OHS
- occupational comfort and happiness workplace wellbeing
- quality of life
- health promotion
- assistive technologies