Tips for Assessment 3:Ergonomics design of a product, task, system or work environmentYou are asked to outline the potential role of ergonomics in the design of a product, task, system or workenvironment. Describe:• What factors might impact – positively or negatively – on the comfort, health or performance ofthe workers or users• How ergonomics principles might be applied to improve the design.You can choose your own scenario, or select one of the following:• A school backpack, for use by secondary school students (product);• Manual handling of rubbish bags by refuse collectors (task);• Shift work roster / staff planning for healthcare workers in a rest home (work system);• Kiwifruit processing plant – design of the processing and sorting lines (work environment).You need to search and report on a selection of relevant literature. Look for literature about:• the product, task, system or environment you have selected;• the sorts of methods that authors have used for ergonomics evaluations;• the kind of problems, injuries, design weaknesses that are being described;• the kinds of improvements or interventions that have been put in place.Based on the literature, and your experience or understanding of the topic, identify possible systemweaknesses or causal factors that may be contributing to sub-optimum design.Describe a proposed methodology for conducting an ergonomics assessment of the product, task, systemor environment.• Use a selection of methods and include at least one archival, one objective and one subjectivemethod.• Briefly discuss why you chose those methods, and what their strengths and weaknesses are,based on the evidence you have identified in the literature.• Consider how the information collected could help inform recommendations for interventionsor improvementsTIP: Your literature should include journal papers but you may also include ‘grey’ literature like industryreports, which might outline industry case studies. Look at key ergonomics journals like AppliedErgonomics and Ergonomics, but also other journals related to design, occupational health andmanagement for example. Review papers are useful to get summarised information about a topic.Check the Massey Library Specific Support page in Stream for guidance.TIP: You want to know what problems are reported, and what methods are out there to investigateyour chosen problem.TIP: Show that you have reviewed relevant literature about the issues and the methods people havereported.TIP: Justify your selection of methods – for example, you might include a standardised questionnairebecause you have confidence in its validity and reliability, it has been used successfully in theworkplace, system or product you are evaluating, and it has been shown to be practical to administeramong the workforce in question.TIP: Use references to back up statements.TIP: Choose a scenario that most interests you or that you are familiar with.In your conclusions, outline the sorts of measures that are likely to improve the design of this workplace,system or product. Use references to back up statements you make about suggested designrecommendations.Take care to:• Keep the purpose of the assignment in mind• Demonstrate that you have a good understanding of ergonomics.• Structure your report in a logical way, with clear headings or paragraphs that guide the readerthrough the content.• Use references to back up your writing and observations – provide evidence for your statements.• Write in your own words. Use quotation marks if you are writing a direct quote.• Check your word count.• Write to a high academic standard, using third person.• Use APA format to cite your references, and provide a reference list. Visit the library website fordetails.Take care not to:• Get caught up with details that don’t support the main focus of your essay.• Make big statements that are not backed up with a reference.• Submit your essay without doing a final read to check grammar, spelling and referencing.TIP: You are likely to get a higher mark if you show that you understand WHY you are performing theevaluation – describe what risks are reported, how your selected methods help inform potentialsolutions, and what interventions are evident from the literature. For example, you may suggestmeasuring workplace dimensions because solutions described in the literature have included adjustingphysical workspaces to suit a specific user group.TIP: Read through your assignment before you submit it to make sure you have answered the questionwithin the word limit, amended any errors and referenced correctly.TIP:Please note: Plagiarism is the copying or paraphrasing of another person’s work, whether publishedor unpublished, without clearly acknowledging it. It includes copying the work of other students andreusing work previously submitted by yourself for another courseAll assignments submitted into Stream will automatically go into Turnitin®, a text matching software.Assignments submitted to Turnitin are compared with material available on the world wide webincluding electronic books, journals, newspapers, cheat sites (or paper mills), web pages and previouslysubmitted assignments. You will be able to read and interpret the report that is generated – pleaseresubmit if you can see that your essay contains high percentages of matched text.
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