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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|7677||2006||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Applied Ergonomics, Volume 37, Issue 4, July 2006, Pages 547–554
Recent experiences in using participatory methods for ergonomic workplace improvement are reviewed to know how these methods can be effective in different settings. The review covered participatory programmes for managers and workers in small enterprises, home workers, construction workers and farmers in Asian countries. To meet diversifying ergonomic needs, participatory steps reviewed are found to usually follow a good-practice approach easily adjustable according to local needs. These steps are found to usually focus on low-cost improvements. They can thus lead to concrete results particularly by addressing multiple technical areas together. Typical areas include materials handling, workstation design, physical environment and work organization. Further, the review confirms that the participatory methods are always modified according to each local situation. This is done by developing a group-work toolkit comprising action checklists and illustrated manuals and by building a support network of trained trainers. It is suggested that participatory methods taking a good-practice approach by multi-area low-cost improvements through the group use of locally adjusted toolkits are effective for improving small-scale workplaces including those in developing countries.
Participatory methods are increasingly utilized in improving ergonomic aspects of work and workplaces. The merits of these methods are widely recognized as a means of promoting initiative of local people and achieving workable solutions (Vink et al., 1995, 1998; Zalk, 2001; Khai et al., 2005). A notable merit is that they contribute to improving various forms of workplaces in their diverse conditions (Noro and Imada, 1991; Nagamachi, 1995; Kawakami and Kogi, 2001; De Jong and Vink, 2002; Koningsveld et al., 2005). It is of particular interest that participatory methods are extensively used in workplace improvement including risk management processes in both industrially developed and developing countries (Shahnavaz, 2000; Kogi, 1998 and Kogi, 2002; Hignett et al., 2005). Variously modified methods are used for facilitating work redesign in these different situations. These methods place a particular emphasis on creating initiative of local people through participatory solving of workplace problems (Eklund, 2000; Hägg, 2003; Khai et al., 2005). It is important to know how these methods can be effectively applied for improving working conditions in small enterprises despite many constraints (Gustavsen and Oscarsson, 1991; Engeström, 2000; Kawakami and Kogi, 2001). The advantages of participatory methods have been discussed particularly in relation to participatory ergonomics. Wilson and Haines (1997) define participatory ergonomics as the involvement of people in planning and controlling a significant amount of their own work activities, with sufficient knowledge and power to influence both processes and outcomes in order to achieve desirable goals. This definition is equally relevant to the spread use of participatory methods in workplace improvement. Various reports on the safety and health risk reduction processes at different workplaces confirm this relevance (Khai et al., 2005). Experiences in our inter-country networking of participatory approaches in workplace improvement in Asian countries likewise indicate the importance of an adequate set of action-oriented participatory methods. Many concrete workplace improvements are reported in small enterprises, construction sites, agricultural farms and working homes (Kawakami and Kogi, 2005). These recent experiences in our networking activities are examined to know types of participatory methods effective in different settings as discussed by Noro and Imada (1991) and Haines et al. (2002). The answers to the following questions are sought: (1) What kind of approach is taken commonly by the participatory methods to meet ergonomic needs in diversified work settings? (2) To what extent do types of workplace improvements achieved by these methods vary from each other in different work settings? (3) Through which support measures can we better facilitate participatory action by local people? Attention is drawn to the locally adjusted nature of improvement steps taken. Attention is also drawn to the roles of action-oriented tools and key persons in meeting local needs. Practical hints for spreading workplace improvement programmes in small enterprises and agriculture particularly in developing countries may be presented.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The reviewed participatory methods used in workplace improvement programmes confirm the importance of building on local good practices in responding to diversified local needs. In adjusting the participatory steps to each local situation, it is important to help each local change group learn from local positive achievements. It is advisable to focus simultaneously on locally practicable improvements in multiple technical areas. It is further advised to utilize locally adapted participatory toolkits with the support of a network of trainers. There is a strong need to adapt these participatory methods to different work settings in different countries as seen in various attempts. Direct support should be strengthened for developing training modules that can build on local good practices in a flexible manner. The support provided can link the workplace improvement methods with risk management procedures. Inter-country networking of positive experiences can accelerate ergonomic improvements in various work settings particularly in industrially developing countries.