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Special Issue "Synergies between Ergonomics and Sustainability for Work-Place Wellbeing—Solutions for Efficient and Effective Occupational Risk Management"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2022) | Viewed by 7136

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Anca Draghici
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
(1) Faculty of Management in Production and Transportation, Politehnica University of Timisoara, 300003 Timisoara, Romania (2) President of the Romanian Ergonomics and Workplace Management Society (ErgoWork), Romania
Interests: industrial ergonomics and human factors; human resources management; sustainable development; organizational dynamics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Nicoleta Luminita Carutasu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Robotics, University Politehnica of Bucharest, Bucharest 060042, Romania
Interests: industrial ergonomics and human factors; supply chain management; enterprise resource planning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

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.” Work41 (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 Ergonomics57, 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.” Work57(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 Work9(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” Sustainability11(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 Ergonomics89, 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.” Ergonomics63(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):

  1. Theoretical Perspectives on Human Factors and Sustainable Development;
  2. Sustainability and Risk Management;
  3. Human Factors and Sustainable Development in Global Value Creation;
  4. 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
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • interdisciplinary approach/research/study
  • ergonomics/human factors
  • ergonomics design
  • micro- and macro-ergonomics
  • green ergonomics, ergoecology
  • sustainability
  • 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

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Article
Diversity in the Workplace for Sustainable Company Development
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6728; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116728 - 31 May 2022
Viewed by 386
Abstract
Approaches to the concept of workforce diversity have developed in recent years. This subject is now under continuous research by specialists in talent management. Simultaneously with the global tightening of COVID-19 restrictions, companies have been imposed upon to support an increasingly higher diversity, [...] Read more.
Approaches to the concept of workforce diversity have developed in recent years. This subject is now under continuous research by specialists in talent management. Simultaneously with the global tightening of COVID-19 restrictions, companies have been imposed upon to support an increasingly higher diversity, thus noticing corporate cultures stimulating communication, innovation, and superior yield results, attracting the best talent. This article analyzes the data obtained through research work targeting the understanding of companies’ orientation toward diversity in the workplace and the assessment of the policies necessary, focusing on four themes: motivation, innovation and creativity, leadership, and social responsibility. Each analyzed variable influenced diversity in the workplace from a significant level (3.33 for motivation) to a high level (4.00 for innovation/creativity and 4.00 for leadership, and 3.71 for social responsibility), showing a genuine interest in Romanian companies supporting diversity in the workplace. Full article
Article
Ergonomics Risk Assessment for Manual Material Handling of Warehouse Activities Involving High Shelf and Low Shelf Binning Processes: Application of Marker-Based Motion Capture
Sustainability 2022, 14(10), 5767; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14105767 - 10 May 2022
Viewed by 398
Abstract
Lower back pain is a musculoskeletal disorder that is commonly reported among warehouse workers due to the nature of the work environment and manual handling activities. The objective of this study was to assess the ergonomic risks among warehouse workers carrying out high [...] Read more.
Lower back pain is a musculoskeletal disorder that is commonly reported among warehouse workers due to the nature of the work environment and manual handling activities. The objective of this study was to assess the ergonomic risks among warehouse workers carrying out high shelf (HS) and low shelf (LS) binning processes. A questionnaire was used to determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms, while a marker-based motion capture (MoCap) system worksheet was used to record the participants’ motion and determine the action risk level. A total of 33% of the participants reported lower back pain in the past seven days, based on the Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire (CMDQ) results. Analysis of the body velocities showed that the HS binning process had four major velocity peaks, defined as the initial, lowering, lifting, and final phases. In comparison, the LS binning process had two major peaks defined, the crouching and rising phases. There were significant differences between the mean velocities of the workers for the HS binning process, indicating that the workers have different movement patterns with varying velocities. Full article
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Article
Transition from Office to Home Office: Lessons from Romania during COVID-19 Pandemic
Sustainability 2022, 14(10), 5758; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14105758 - 10 May 2022
Viewed by 336
Abstract
The paper investigates experiences of employees and middle managers in relation to the transition from working from office to working from home in the context of COVID-19 pandemic in Romania. Three online focus groups were conducted to explore working experience in the new [...] Read more.
The paper investigates experiences of employees and middle managers in relation to the transition from working from office to working from home in the context of COVID-19 pandemic in Romania. Three online focus groups were conducted to explore working experience in the new mode of work. The conclusions are multifaceted, covering four dimensions: time, spatial, social and technical, and point out how employees and middle managers understand the transition and what impact telework had on their job satisfaction and work productivity. Full article
Article
Safety-Management Practices and the Occurrence of Occupational Accidents: Assessing the Mediating Role of Safety Compliance
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4569; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084569 - 12 Apr 2022
Viewed by 458
Abstract
This study examines the impact of critical safety-management practices on the occurrence of occupational accidents by means of safety compliance in Malaysia’s oil and gas industry. This study employed a cross-sectional design, in which data were collected from oil and gas downstream operations [...] Read more.
This study examines the impact of critical safety-management practices on the occurrence of occupational accidents by means of safety compliance in Malaysia’s oil and gas industry. This study employed a cross-sectional design, in which data were collected from oil and gas downstream operations in five states within Malaysia using the convenience-sampling technique. The valid data of 280 responses were analyzed with Smart-PLS, and the structural-equation-modeling technique was applied. The study’s outcome revealed that safety-management practices (i.e., safety training, workers’ involvement, safety communication and feedback, management commitment to safety, safety-promotion policies, and safety rules and procedures) were significantly associated with occupational accidents via safety compliance. Thus, this study is helpful for practitioners and researchers to understand the importance of safety-management practices in reducing occupational accidents. Full article
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Article
Linking the Use of Ergonomics Methods to Workplace Social Sustainability: The Ovako Working Posture Assessment System and Rapid Entire Body Assessment Method
Sustainability 2022, 14(7), 4301; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14074301 - 05 Apr 2022
Viewed by 477
Abstract
This article concretizes the continuous development of social sustainability in organizations based on ergonomics methods and tools, among others. Numerous scientific studies have already revealed many reasons for justifying balanced efforts towards organizational sustainability, including its economic, social, and environmental dimensions. Because the [...] Read more.
This article concretizes the continuous development of social sustainability in organizations based on ergonomics methods and tools, among others. Numerous scientific studies have already revealed many reasons for justifying balanced efforts towards organizational sustainability, including its economic, social, and environmental dimensions. Because the social dimension is recognized as the weakest and is often neglected, it is placed at the forefront of the present research. The link between social sustainability in the workplace and the ergonomics concept is provided through 17 underlying indicators of the workplace sustainability framework proposed in a previous study. The OWAS and REBA ergonomic risk assessment methods were used in a toolmaking company to study how results can be used directly or indirectly to determine the size or value of indicators used in the sustainability framework. The research finds that direct use of the OWAS and REBA results is not possible, but it is certain that the implementation of proposals in response to identified levels of risk affects up to four out of five factors that constitute the sustainability framework. The use of OWAS and REBA is not suitable to address environmental concerns. This study encourages companies to use ergonomic methods and tools to develop social sustainability in the workplace. It is often necessary to decide between the pen-and-paper approach and an advanced one using artificial intelligence (e.g., supported by the ErgoIA software tool). Not only the method but also the technique chosen affects the degree of sustainability achieved. Finally, relevant aspects of knowledge exploitation in the field of ergonomic education for social sustainability were summarized. Full article
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Article
Exploring the Relationship between Abusive Management, Self-Efficacy and Organizational Performance in the Context of Human–Machine Interaction Technology and Artificial Intelligence with the Effect of Ergonomics
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 1949; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14041949 - 09 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1058
Abstract
(1) Background: Our study aims to explore the impact of abusive management and self-efficacy on corporate performance in the context of artificial intelligence-based human–machine interaction technology in enterprise performance evaluation. (2) Methods: Surveys were distributed to 578 participants in selected international companies in [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Our study aims to explore the impact of abusive management and self-efficacy on corporate performance in the context of artificial intelligence-based human–machine interaction technology in enterprise performance evaluation. (2) Methods: Surveys were distributed to 578 participants in selected international companies in Turkey, Taiwan, Japan, and China. To reduce uncertainty and errors, the surveys were rigorously evaluated and did not show a normal distribution, as it was determined that 85 participants did not consciously fill out the questionnaires, and the questionnaires from the remaining 493 participants were used. By using the evaluation model of employee satisfaction based on a back propagation (BP) neural network, we explored the manifestation and impact of abusive management and self-efficacy. Using the listed real estate businesses as an example, we proposed a deep learning BP neural network-based employee job satisfaction evaluation model and a human–machine technology-based employee performance evaluation system under situational perception, according to the design requirements of human–machine interaction. (3) Results: The results show that the human–machine interface can log in according to the correct verbal instructions of the employees. In terms of age and education level variables, employees’ perceptions of leaders’ abusive management and self-efficacy are significantly different from their job performances, respectively (p < 0.01). (4) Conclusions: artificial intelligence (AI)-based human–machine interaction technology, malicious management, and self-efficacy directly affect enterprise performance and employee satisfaction. Full article
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Article
Buyer–Supplier Role in Improving Ergonomics in Garment Supplier Factories: Empirical Evidence from the Garment Industry of Bangladesh
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010492 - 03 Jan 2022
Viewed by 526
Abstract
Ergonomics is a key concern of garment suppliers to improve their workers’ well-being and efficiency. However, suppliers’ isolated initiatives are not sufficient to improve ergonomics conditions. Thus, buyers’ cooperation and collaboration with suppliers are necessary to make the ergonomic initiatives successful and sustainable. [...] Read more.
Ergonomics is a key concern of garment suppliers to improve their workers’ well-being and efficiency. However, suppliers’ isolated initiatives are not sufficient to improve ergonomics conditions. Thus, buyers’ cooperation and collaboration with suppliers are necessary to make the ergonomic initiatives successful and sustainable. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of buyer-assisted ergonomics intervention on suppliers’ performance and the role of buyers’ assistance and suppliers’ initiatives for improving ergonomics conditions in garment supplier factories. Following a qualitative research approach and multiple embedded case study method, this study intervened in supplier factories and collected qualitative and quantitative data from one Danish buyer and their four key suppliers on ergonomics and the role of buyers and suppliers in improving ergonomics conditions. Collected data were analysed by employing both quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques. This study demonstrates that buyer-assisted ergonomics intervention on the shop floor can improve ergonomics conditions in garment supplier factories. This study also shows that improving ergonomics in supplier factories need joint efforts of buyers and suppliers. The findings of this study will enrich the literature on ergonomics, sustainability, and buyer–supplier relationships by demonstrating how garment suppliers in developing countries can improve ergonomics to meet the expectations of lead buyers and their workers. This is a unique research attempt to understand ergonomics from a buyer–supplier relationship perspective and its impact on the social sustainability of garment suppliers. Full article
Article
A Preliminary Study on Ergonomic Contribution to the Engineering Design Approach of a Wheel Loader Control Lever System
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010122 - 23 Dec 2021
Viewed by 576
Abstract
Studies show that heavy machinery operators are exposed to risk factors of musculoskeletal diseases. However, there has yet to be a study investigating the grip analysis of heavy machinery control levers. This preliminary study aims to investigate the grip analysis of a system [...] Read more.
Studies show that heavy machinery operators are exposed to risk factors of musculoskeletal diseases. However, there has yet to be a study investigating the grip analysis of heavy machinery control levers. This preliminary study aims to investigate the grip analysis of a system that emulates the push–pull operations, handle shapes, and resistance of wheel loader control lever systems. The system was designed, analysed, and optimised using Autodesk Inventor 2019 before fabrication and testing. It underwent usability testing for estimated and perceived grip force analysis (ergonomics analysis). The tests measured estimated force using a sensor glove, and perceived force using the Borg CR10 scale. The data were analysed using regression and paired t-tests. The findings suggested that pulling and high resistance factors required higher estimated force (339.50 N) and perceived force (5.625) than pushing and low resistance factors in manoeuvring the system (p < 0.05). The cylindrical handle required more estimated force (339.50 N) but less perceived force (4.5) than the spherical handle due to ergonomic design considerations (p < 0.05). Although there were inaccuracies in force measurement methods, the perceived method was still effective for data collection, since it is challenging to measure grip force in a real situation with heavy machinery. While this study was only a simulation, it provided researchers with ideas that may solve problems in the manipulation of heavy machinery control levers. Full article
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Article
Identification of Workplace Social Sustainability Indicators Related to Employee Ergonomics Perception in Indonesian Industry
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 11069; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131911069 - 07 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 709
Abstract
Sustainability indicators have provided a breakthrough for companies to assess their performance in supporting corporate sustainability. There is no standard framework for these support-defining indicators to conduct a social sustainability performance assessment. There is a limitation of quantitative social sustainability indicators appropriate for [...] Read more.
Sustainability indicators have provided a breakthrough for companies to assess their performance in supporting corporate sustainability. There is no standard framework for these support-defining indicators to conduct a social sustainability performance assessment. There is a limitation of quantitative social sustainability indicators appropriate for performing ergonomic concept assessments. Ergonomics, as a field concerning people and their interactions with the environment, in particular, the workplace, can play a role in social sustainability, besides its conventional approach of workplace re-engineering. Three major areas of ergonomics were analyzed. The indicators were established based on a review of the literature and confirmed using a factor analysis that covered all major aspects of workplace ergonomics. The factor analysis aimed to reduce the complexity of workplace social sustainability indicators related to ergonomics. The final result integrated 73 indicators into 17 indicators based on three major areas of ergonomics. The findings showed that the best workplace social sustainability indicators were divided into five factors: employee well-being, safety concerns, workplace comfort, musculoskeletal health, and environmental concerns. It would be very beneficial for the industry and the government to support corporate social sustainability and the global sustainability index. Full article
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Article
Performance Analysis of Urban Cleaning Devices Using Human–Machine Interaction Method
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 5846; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13115846 - 22 May 2021
Viewed by 710
Abstract
Presently, several jobs require the collaboration of humans and machines to perform different services and tasks. The ease and intuitiveness of the worker when using each machine will not only improve the worker’s experience but also improve the company’s productivity and the satisfaction [...] Read more.
Presently, several jobs require the collaboration of humans and machines to perform different services and tasks. The ease and intuitiveness of the worker when using each machine will not only improve the worker’s experience but also improve the company’s productivity and the satisfaction that all users have. Specifically, electromechanical devices used to provide cleaning services require complex interactions. These interactions determine the usability and performance of devices. Therefore, devices must have appropriate ergonomic arrangements for human–machine interactions. Otherwise, the desired performance cannot be achieved. This study analyzes the performance of an urban cleaning device (pressure washer on a power take-off van) using human–machine interaction method. The method measures visceral and behavioral levels (set by Norman) and service times. Using these measurements, the usability of the pressure washer is determined according to different factors that facilitate the operator’s well-being in the working environment. A pressure washer from Feniks Cleaning and Safety, Limited Company, has been studied. Sixteen errors related to ergonomics, usability and safety were identified in this machine, which operates in more than 40 locations in Spain. Therefore, this study provides valuable information on the usability and performance of pressure washers, as well as possibilities for improvement. Full article
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