ISO releases new standard on ergonomics

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has issued a new standard, titled "ISO 26800:2011, Ergonomics – General approach, principles and concepts," which aims to increase the use of ergonomics in common appliances and products.

From computer keyboards to parking lot ticket machines, a wide range of products should not pose unreasonable difficulties and risks to operate, the organization says. The new standard was created to increase the well-being of users and improve a system's overall performance, including common products.

"A substantial number of ergonomics standards have been developed to cover specific issues and different application domains, but this standard will serve as an umbrella reference for all such standards and provide an integrated framework bringing together the basic principles and concepts of ergonomics in one document," said Georg Krämer, Chair of the ISO Technical Committee.

The standard was created to improve safety, accessibility, usability and performance, while at the same time developing a safe environment for human health and well-being. It was written to be used by designers, project managers, ergonomists, managers, consumers, procurers, and workers to fill the specific goal of optimizing tasks, equipment, services, and the environment.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), ergonomics is the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population.

The application of ergonomics in the workplace can be supplemented with various safety products that also help ensure a safe and productive environment.  

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