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October is Global Ergonomics Month (GEM)

Date:Sep 2016


October is Global Ergonomics Month (GEM)
Happenings around the World!


October is the designated Worldwide Month of Ergonomics and Human Factors. Several IEA Federated Societies and Networks were actively involved in promoting Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) awareness among the local community, industries, government agencies, and schools. Typically, these planned events and activities are grassroots, community based activities that target key stakeholders at various levels, such as industries, schools, government, and society.
These events and activities are designed to encourage the exchange of ideas regarding HFE practices through various formats by:
  • providing information and materials
  • distributing case studies
  • highlighting methods and discussions of experiences
  • providing community services
One of the IEA Communication and Public Relations Committee’s initiatives is to actively support and encourage IEA Federated Societies and Networks and other relevant global organizations involvement in promoting the science, application and profession of HFE and to share these event experiences during the month of October. IEA acknowledges these admirable efforts and strongly supports these local and national initiatives.

For example, exchanging and distributing informative and educational HFE materials and other related planned activities (e.g., design competition) used for these GEM type efforts should be highlighted on the IEA website. This provides further opportunities for other IEA FS, Networks and related professional/scientific organizations to coordinate and utilize these available materials in planning their own grassroots, GEM activities.

The following list describes the highlights of the events and activities hosted by several Federated Societies, Networks and related organizations promoting HFE during the month of October, under the auspices of GEM.





Federation of European Ergonomics Societies (FEES) - IEA Networks: European Month of Ergonomics (EME)


FEES has a rich history sponsoring and organizing events and activities for their recognized EME. One notable effort was supporting the European campaign of “Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress,” organized by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) where FEES is an official partner of the EU-OSHA. This campaign directive focused on managing work-related stress and psychosocial risks. FEES found this topic relevant for the promotion and potential application of ergonomics knowledge and methods in managing these work related risks and supported the collaboration between ergonomists and occupational health and safety experts to address this important topic during the two year period of 2014-2015. FEES supported this campaign by organizing and gathering ergonomics materials, case studies, experiences related to Ergonomics for managing work-related stress emphasizing the work task design, and the design of systems interfaces. Previously, FEES has also dedicated EME to topics of risk prevention, safe maintenance, risk assessment, and knowing your ergonomists. For more information on these activities and related materials, see http://www.healthy-workplaces.eu, http://www.ergonomics-fees.eu/node [http://ergonomics-fees.eu/node/4]. The Centre of registration of European Ergonomist (CREE) https://www.eurerg.eu/ also supports FEES initiatives.

2016–17 Campaign: Healthy Workplaces for All Ages. For the two-year period of 2016-2017 the Federation of the European Ergonomics Societies (FEES) has decided to support the annual Healthy Workplaces Campaign of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). Ergonomics for all ages






Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Singapore (HFESS)


This IEA Federated Society promoted the HFE GEM 2015 with a “Critic and Design Competition” highlighting awareness amongst the HF community. They invited the industry, local community, schools, and the HF community to participate in the contest. Their motto was “integrating HFE with sustainable design to improve human performance and work effectiveness. The contest consisted of answering five case scenario questions by identifying the HFE issues and then providing proposed design recommendations. The question topics ranged from interface and workplace issues, organizational factors of HFE, and human error.

For GEM 2016, HFESS conducted an ERGO-Trophy Challenge where people where encourage to design a trophy that could be used in one’s daily life. HFESS also provided several HFE talks. For more information and related materials, conduct nicolette@hfess.org.





Human Factors and Ergonomics Society- National Ergonomics Month


Similar to FEES, HFES has named the month October, National Ergonomics Month (NEM) and has a distinguished history of promoting HFE during the entire month. HFES NEM focuses on creating awareness of HFE through grassroots, community based activities at the college, university, high school and corporation level. This year, as in the past, HFES will be sponsoring at their Annual National Meeting, a session dedicated to NEM (NEM Expo) which will showcase outstanding projects involving schools, community service, and the media. Since 2003, NEM has solicited proposals for the NEM Best Action Plan. Student chapters and individuals are invited to submit proposals for an NEM plan of action to promote HF/E in their schools and communities. The proposals are then reviewed by HFES volunteers. Awards are presented each year at the HFES Annual Meeting where student chapters and individual are invited to submit proposals for an NEM plan of action that promotes HFE in schools and communities. These outreach activities may consist of workshops, volunteer work, community service and activities, and educational modules that are aimed to inform lay audiences, young and old, about HFE and its contributions to the general public.

Leaders of the 2017 NEM Committee is targeting their next outreach efforts under the auspices of “Ergonomic-mindedness” which will highlight the importance of social media to enable HFE professional to share NEM activities in their communities. This effort is based on the 14 Grand Challenges proposed by the National Academy of Engineering and raised by HFES President Marras who noted the need and contribution of HFE professionals to contribute to addressing these initiatives. [See HFES Bulletin, October 2016].

For more information regarding NEM activities there are several fun and informative videos to help explain HF/E, and one can also view the winners of the 2016 YouTube Contest, "How does human factors/ergonomics help people?" on the HFES YouTube Channel. See www.hfes.org and to contact NEM chair; joekeebler@gmail.com; Elizabeth Phillips, ePhillips@knights.ucf.edu; NEM Committee, and Karen Jacobs, Chair, HFES Outreach Division, kjacobs@bu.edu .





Association of Canadian Ergonomists (ACE)


ACE has historically highlighted national and regional events across Canadian during the month of October: Occupational Ergonomics Month. They will be holding their 47th Annual Meeting in October and supporting several outreach activities (see: www.ace-ergocanada.ca).



Recently, WorkSafeBC sponsored an ‘Innovations Contest’ for people who created solutions for workers who lift, push, pull, carry, or move materials at work, under the theme, “Have you done anything to lighten the load and reduce workers’ risk of musculoskeletal injury? For 2016, WorkSafeBC is hosting Ergonomics Forum, October 26, 2016, 12:30PM - 4:30PM, WorkSafeBC Richmond office, 6951 Westminster Highway in recognition of Occupational Ergonomics Month. Join them to learn about the application of ergonomics and human factors at WorkSafeBC. Three presentations will be given on the topics of: Office Ergonomics, Musculoskeletal injury prevention, and Human Factors. Networking opportunities are encouraged where there is a chance for British Columbia workers and employers to share their stories.
For more details on attending please send an email to: ergomonth@worksafebc.com .
https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/news-events/calendar/2016/October/ergonomics-forum

The Ministry of Labour targeted the prevention of workplace hazards that could lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) during Global Ergonomics Month. During the month, Ministry of Labour inspectors focused on MSD hazards while visiting health care workplaces, targeting areas such as the kitchen and food services, janitorial and housekeeping, laundry, pharmacy, laboratories and medical clinics, all part of a three-year health care enforcement program. Also, workplace health and safety associations participated in Global Ergonomics Month by publishing articles on MSDs, hosting conferences, webinars and lectures, and offering various learning and training events on the subject of preventing MSDs. “We hope to raise awareness of MSD hazards and prevent injuries in the workplace,” said George Gritziolis, chief prevention officer. “We want to improve the health and safety of all workers, particularly those who work in the health care sector.” For more information, visit the Labour of ministry’s Ontario MSD web page which list the numerous activities, learning events, webinars, conferences, including the workplace safety and prevention services at: http://www.wsps.ca/GEM; the Institute for Work and Health,
http://www.iwh.on.ca/events/ergonomic-tools-for-offices-webinar;
http://www.iwh.on.ca/sbe/what-workplace-programs-help-prevent-upper-extremity-musculoskeletal-disorders#workshouldnthurt






October ---Global Ergonomics Month (GEM)


We hope these GEM examples by several IEA FS and Networks will provide some inspiration to others on how to increase the awareness of HFE and the valuable contribution it can have on designing safe and effective work systems. The IEA CPR committee encourages your submissions and is happy to post information regarding any related GEM activity or promotional sponsored events to share amongst the IEA bodies. Please contact IEA CPR chair Michelle Robertson (CPR@iea.cc) or Vice President/Secretary General (VPSG@iea.cc).