Ergonomics Case Study

2411 words - 10 pages

Identification of the causes and proposed solutions

1) “An old rock & roll tune blasted from the hi-tech sound system” – according to Dalton & Behm (2007), music has equivocal effect on cognitive performance, meaning that it can facilitate performance of tasks which demand concentration and attention on one hand (especially moderate/low volume), but to be as distracting as noise during comprehension tasks on the other. However, Dalton & Behm conclude that loud volume intensities, both noise (unwanted sound) and music impair human performance during simple vigilance tasks. Given this information it is possible to infer that the excessively high volume in the club might have had some effect ...view middle of the document...

g. lamp shades) which would diffuse the light and make it less direct. Or it is possible to replace the furniture by one that is made of a less reflective material than chrome.

3) “As barkeeps do, he started mixing a batch of drinks” – increased chance of making an error when there are other bottles around which contain different liquids.
Solution: Barkeeps should make every drink individually (hire more barkeeps if necessary), also there should be no other bottles used in the bar area which do not contain drinks, in addition to that, any bottle not intended for drinking purposes should be marked distinctively from other bottles to avoid confusion.

4) “The barkeep placed the bottle and a dozen shot glasses on the counter” – a common sense mistake, in order to save time the barkeep let the waitress to make the drinks, thus increasing again the chance of an error (perhaps the waitress lacks training of making beverages).
Solution: The barkeep alone should make the drinks and not waitresses.

5) The dishwashing machine was designed to operate with a unique kind of dish soap” – this points to lack of flexibility in design, making it hard to use other less dangerous soaps.
Solution: Possible solution to reduce risks concerned with hazardous liquids could be to use dishwasher that is based on different technology, e.g. steam.

6) Eko-klene was delivered in semi-transparent containers – increasing chances of confusing the substance with other liquids.
Solution: To avoid confusion with other liquids the manufacturer should have delivered Eko-Klene in sealed non-transparent containers.

7) Ecolab (the manufacturer) “described the dishwasher soap and warned of the hazards of it, on a label, on the side of the bucket” – This kind of design could imply that the label is hard to see from different angles, hard to read for short sighted and dyslectic people and In general, there’s been a failure on behalf of Eko-lab to draw attention to the label.
Solution: Braun & Silver (1995) have examined in their study the interaction of signal words and colours. They have found the highest levels of perceived hazard among the participants when signal words were presented in red. Furthermore, they have shown that words such as “DEADLY” evoked more hazard awareness when printed in red than other colours. In a second experiment they examined the effect of colour on compliance with printed warnings; the findings have shown that warnings printed in red resulted in higher proportion of compliant behaviour than other colours. Adams & Edworthy (1995) examined the presentation of signal words in warnings in different font sizes and when surrounded by red borders and its effect on perceived urgency. They have found that text size has the greatest effect on perceived urgency, followed by border width. They conclude that bigger text and thicker borders will produce higher level of urgency. In accordance with some of the above ergonomic principals it is...

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