What is Ergonomics and Human Factors?
Ergonomics and Human Factors are the scientific disciplines concerned with understanding the interactions between people their environment. As a profession, Ergonomists, work to improve people’s performance, reduce the incidence of injury, reduce errors, and improve both productivity and job satisfaction. How this is done is through looking at the design of spaces, tools, furniture and equipment, and even computer interfaces to see how they can be redesigned to improve how people use them.
The term ergonomics has gained popularity with the recognition of the term as it relates to “ergonomic” chairs, office equipment, even “ergonomic” snow shovels and hand tools. This is especially true in an age of the shift to working from home where people are struggling to make their dining room table more “ergonomic”. More widely, ergonomics and Ergonomists focus on how to create safer and more productive work environments. This includes being able to identify and reduce risk factors for musculoskeletal injuries to prevent an injury before it occurs.
How do I know if an Ergonomist or Human Factors Professional is qualified?
To create better and safer work environments, in Canada there is a national certification program for Ergonomists through The Canadian College for the Certification of Professional Ergonomists (CCCPE) which is recognized by the International Ergonomics Association.
Ergonomics certification through the CCCPE is voluntary and provides successful candidates with the designation “CCPE” (Certified Canadian Professional Ergonomist), or “AE” (Associate Ergonomist) for those who have not yet accumulated enough years of work experience. To obtain certification, applicants must meet rigorous standards in education, professional competencies, and work experience across the full scope of ergonomics and human factors practice. Certified Ergonomist must also adhere to a Code of Ethics for the protection of the public.
- Are you wondering if your Ergonomist meets these high standards? The CCCPE website maintains a directory of all CCPEs and AEs in good standing and is searchable by Province and City.
- Are you looking for a CCPE who provides consulting services? The ACE website has a searchable consultant directory for consultants located all across Canada.
Ergonomists designated through the college can provide a wide range of ergonomic services including but not limited to, office ergonomic assessments, risk assessments in any and all industries (i.e. manufacturing, education, agriculture, and health care), return to work accommodation, architectural and product design reviews, cognitive/human factors evaluations, human-computer interaction evaluations, and training. To reduce injuries and improve overall performance, the use of a CCPE can help to critically evaluate and optimize the design of workplaces, tools, and equipment.
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Author: Canadian College for the Certification of Professional Ergonomists www.cccpe.ca