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The journal will publish peer-reviewed original papers, covering a variety of occupational ergonomics issues including, but not limited to: prevention of work-related musculoskeletal injuries, task analysis, work design, occupational accidents, cognitive engineering, disability management, legal issues and the modeling of physical/mental stress at work. Emphasis will be on reflection of the recent increase in health and safety in the workplace and related job redesign requirements.
The journal aims to:
- provide a forum for publication of up-to-date research findings in the broad area of occupational ergonomics and safety
- provide a vehicle for distribution of information on occupational ergonomics and safety related issues, developments, and theories.
Articles will not be confined to research areas, but will comprise a balanced mixture of basic and applied research, literature reviews, case studies, short communications and book reviews in the broad area of occupational ergonomics and safety.
Abstract: The demographic change in Western societies leads to an increasing number of older employees in organizations. Furthermore, the percentage of employees with physical impairments increases with rising age. Job rotation is one intervention that aims at preventing unbalanced workload and increasing variation. However, systematic studies focusing on the effects of job rotation and on systematic job rotation schemes in practise are rare. The presented study analyzes job rotation in the automotive industry and its relationships to…subjective and objective data with regard to an aging workforce and impaired employees. Our analysis showed that older and impaired employees rotated less. Employees who rotated between higher ranges of workstations assessed their job performance and health higher than employees with a smaller rotation-range. More job rotation was also correlated to less absenteeism. Additionally, impaired employees had lower performance and health scores, and higher absenteeism than employees without impairments. Practical implications and limitations of the study are discussed.
Keywords: Job rotation, older employees, impairments, automotive industry
Abstract: Due to demographic changes and a higher age of retirement, an increasing number of older people will maintain mobility in car traffic. At the same time the extent of technical equipment, e.g. driver assistance systems in motor vehicles, increases as well. Such assistent systems should provide additional and supportive information during driving. However, they can also result in distraction and disturb driving performance especially in older drivers. In order to investigate this, young and older participants…performed a simulated driving task under a dual task condition: a visuo-motor tracking task and a visual attention task. An age-related slowing of response speed was observed in the visual attention task. Independent of age, both groups showed comparable error proportions and were able to improve their performance with time on task. In the tracking task, older participants showed a generally impaired performance compared to the young group which could not be improved with time on task. Particularly after relevant targets in the visual attention task, the tracking performance of both groups was decreased; this was more pronounced for the older group. The results may have relevant implications for the presentation of information by driver assistance systems especially for older drivers.
Abstract: The dominance of computers in today's work systems poses particular challenges for older workers. Specifically, their lack of computer experience and computer literacy impedes their ability to explore and use new interactive systems. To investigate the impact of computer literacy, 41~older (mean age 70~years) and 42~younger (mean age 25~years) participants were split evenly into two groups that differed in one aspect: to compensate the lack of computer literacy, the experimental group watched a brief instructional video…immediately prior to solving eleven tasks using a simulated ticket vending machine, while the control group did not. Results indicate that both age groups benefited from watching the video, while older adults gained enough knowledge to be as effective as the younger non-video group. This result suggests that the careful design and integration of minimal instructions into interactive devices could contribute to maintain employment and even to find new employment opportunities for older workers.
Keywords: Computer literacy, older workers, video instruction, ticket vending machine, design for all, interaction knowledge, age differences
Abstract: Demographic changes have important implications for the quality of working life. Increasing age is often accompanied by changes in perceptual, cognitive and motor abilities. The scientifically proven decrease of visual acuity with age is of particular importance for computer work. In this paper, acuity of vision was measured using a standardized eyesight test called Rodatest 302. To investigate the age-induced change in visual acuity and its impact on human performance, a target detection experiment with well-known…Landolt rings was conducted on the basis of three different font sizes (12, 16 and 22 arc minutes). The Landolt rings were displayed on a TFT LCD screen. 75 subjects aged between 20 and 72~years participated in the experiment. The number of correctly detected Landolt rings (hits), the number of wrongly detected Landolt rings (false alarms) and the response time of correct responses were measured. Results from analysis of variance show a strong effect of font size and a medium age-related effect concerning the response time of correct responses. The interaction effect of font size and age group shows that age-related differences in response time can be compensated by enlarging the font size from 16 to 22 arc minutes. Results from partial correlation analysis show that an age-differentiated adaptation of font size is recommended rather than an adaptation based on measurement of visual acuity.
Keywords: Human-computer interaction, electronic information displays, visual acuity, age differences, age-differentiated adaptation
Abstract: One of the fundamental concomitants of aging is generalized slowing of almost all motor and mental functions. The present study aimed to elucidate the generality of slowing across different sensorimotor tasks. Results show that although slowing can be found in many tasks, older adults perform faster in a tracing task compared to their younger counterparts. Potential explanations of these findings are discussed with respect to biological changes in the course of aging and with respect to…cultural and technological developments during the last decades.
Keywords: Generalized slowing, aging workforce, tracing, motor skills, speed-accuracy tradeoff, computer use