It is needless to say that ergonomics is a science widely used in everyday life.

Whether it be the design of a hand-tool, a piece of furniture to sit on, or a vehicle to travel by – detailed attention to this science is crucial to make the product or improvement a success.

The science of ergonomics deals with virtually everything we use in our daily life.

It is not an overstatement to state that ergonomic design has a vital role to play in the prevention of workplace (occupational) injuries and illnesses. Health and safety risks can also be minimized by ensuring that the tools are both ergonomically designed and fit for the purpose. This does not alleviate the need for training to ensure that users are informed on the proper use of the tool, so that they reap its intended benefits. Many times employers fail to recognize the importance of employee training when a new ergonomic improvement is introduced to the workplace – this results in the new ergonomic tool being ignored by the employees and in somes cases its intended benefit is compromised as a result of improper use.

Specific consideration needs to be given when choosing or designing tools, controls or when working in hazardous situations, i.e., working at heights, hazardous process monitoring stations, etc. For example, multi part tools should be prevented from separating and should be fitted with non-slippery handles when working at height, along with a combination of tool holders and lanyards. Controls should be designed with consideration for quick and easy responses to critical or emergency demands. They should also be clear and concise to minimize the likelihood of human errors when operating controls. It is crucially important to reiterate effective tool safety training to ensure that the tools are used as intended to achieve its benefits. Even more importantly, the inspection and maintenance regime of those tools are paramount in prolonging their lifespan and reliability.