Thesis defence S.A. Miguez: ergonomic risks

15 October 2018 10:00 - Location: Aula, TU Delft - By: webredactie

Dealing with ergonomic risks in industrial settings. Promotor 1: Prof.dr. P. Vink (IO); Promotor 2: Prof.dr. M.S. Hallbeck (U-Nebraska).

It is possible to reduce back and neck complaints in companies. Using an approach consisting of employee involvement, management involvement, training and physical and organizational adaptations works well in many countries over the world. 

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are a worldwide concern that affect professionals from different segments and industries. In Switzerland, the costs associated with WRMSDs are about 7.5 billion dollars a year. In other European countries, they represent up to 40% of labour compensation and are responsible for up to 1.6% loss in the GDP. It is estimated that the direct costs associated with a WRMSD case is approximately 35,000 to 40,000 euros in Europe.

In a globalized world, where there are great technological advancements such as artificial intelligence, robotics and internet of things, we must consider that the human body remains the same and attention is needed to keep employees healthy. 

In this study, the author: shares cases which successfully tackled musculoskeletal injuries. The author shares her experience about the importance of ergonomics programs and committees for the management of ergonomic risks; discusses the absence of homogenous exposure groups in ergonomics; proposes a framework for ergonomic maturity; calls attention to the concept of work movements;  presents documents created in order to foster a common “ergonomic language” within the companies; brings practical solutions on how to deal with ergonomic risks within several segments (agribusiness, electronics, furniture, hydroelectric and metallurgical); and demonstrates that the association of concepts of ergonomics with those of Lean Manufacturing methodology contribute to the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders as well as to the increase of productivity.

More information?

 For access to theses by the PhD students you can have a look in TU Delft Repository, the digital storage of publications of TU Delft. Theses will be available within a few weeks after the actual thesis defence.