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From ergonomics to design specifications: contributions to the design of a processing machine in a tire company


The development of ergonomics’ recommendations, guidelines and standards are attempts to promote the integration of ergonomics into industrial contexts. Such developments result from several sources and professionals and represent the effort that has been done to develop healthier and safer work environments. However, the availability of large amount of data and documents regarding ergonomics does not guarantee their applicability. The main goal of this paper is to use a specific case to demonstrate how ergonomics criteria were developed in order to contribute to the design of workplaces. Based on the obtained results from research undertaken in a tire company, it was observed that the ergonomics criteria should be presented as design specifications in order to be used by engineers and designers. In conclusion, it is observed that the multiple constraint environment impeded the appliance of the ergonomics criteria. It was also observed that the knowledge on technical design and the acquaintance with ergonomic standards, the level of integration in the design team, and the ability to communicate with workers and other technical staff have paramount importance in integrating ergonomics criteria into the design process.