ESK Fact sheet
- Established: 27 March 1982
- Approximate number of members: 700 regular members, 300 associated members (predominantly undergraduate and graduate students), and 7 corporates/organizations (sustaining membership).
- Website: https://esk.or.kr/
The Ergonomics Society of Korea was formed in 1982 and became a federated society of the IEA in 1990. In South Korea, numerous companies actively implement HFE principles in the development of their products. These products span various industries, including electronic consumer products, automobiles, furniture, software, and apps. Prominent companies such as Samsung, LG, Hyundai/KIA, Naver, and Daum employ a significant number of HFE professionals who work as UI/UX and product designers.
Safety and Health is another major domain of HFE application in Korea. Many HFE professionals serve as health managers within companies, actively involved in preventing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Korean companies are required to conduct risk assessments to identify the risks of MSDs and are encouraged to implement appropriate measures to decrease the likelihood of MSD development. In Korea, there is a system for the certification of HFE professionals which is administered by a government agency. Numerous ESK members have been certified as HFE professionals and are major contributors to the management of HFE risks in industry.
HFE is also widely spread in various governmental or research organizations, including KOSHA, the government agency responsible for safety and health, and KATS, which operates Size Korea projects and the anthropometry database. HFE finds active application in areas such as nuclear safety, agricultural safety, aviation safety, rehabilitation, universal design, and clothing design. Numerous ESK members actively contribute to these areas.
Approximately fifty (50) universities offer HFE education programs in Korea. These are primarily housed within industrial engineering or safety engineering departments, while some programs are based on industrial design, interdisciplinary convergence of IT, industrial health, and other cognate disciplines. Professors, researchers, and graduate students in these universities constitute a significant portion of ESK’s membership.
Overview of ESK activities
ESK holds two domestic conferences each year, one in spring and the other in autumn. About 400-500 people participate in each conference. At the conferences, various awards are presented to conference participants, including the Dr. Eui S. Jung award for the best student paper, outstanding posters, creative ergonomic capstone designs by undergraduate students, ESK ergonomic design awards, and best practices in industrial ergonomics. The fall ESK conference of 2023 will be held from 15-18 November at Juju International Conference Center (JEJU ICC).
The Journal of ESK, which serves as the official publication of ESK, is released every two months. The journal follows an open-access model, allowing anyone to access articles at https://jesk.or.kr. The Journal of ESK also permits authors to submit HFE articles in English. While most papers are written in Korean, all abstracts and tables are presented in English.
On an annual basis, ESK also hosts the ‘Ergonomic Design Awards’ to recognize well-designed products from an ergonomic standpoint. Approximately 10 to 20 products, either recommended by our members or submitted by companies, undergo review by HFE professionals. The best products are then selected for the prestigious Grand Prix of EDA. These award-winning products are usually showcased during the conference of the year. Additionally, ESK facilitates the “HFE Best Practice Awards” to promote practical improvements in the industry in terms of safety and health as well as productivity.
To foster international relationships in HFE, ESK and the Japanese HFE Society (JES) have been holding joint symposia alternately every year. The 2023 edition is going to be hosted by JES. ESK is also a council member of the Asian Council of Ergonomics and Design (ACED) and members of ESK attend the Asian Conference of Ergonomics and Design every three years. ACED will be held in India this year.
Upcoming ESK events
ESK will host the IEA Congress 2024 in Jeju, a beautiful island in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, similar in size to Ohau, Hawaii. Detailed information about the congress and Jeju can be found at http://iea2024.com. The organizing committee, in collaboration with ESK, is dedicated to ensuring the success of the event. We encourage the HFE global community to attend the conference and to meet HFE professionals from around the world while enjoying the tranquil beauty of the island. This promises to be a truly exciting, engaging, and well-organised conference, as was the 2023 IEA Congress that was successfully hosted by ESK in Seoul in 2003.
ESK has various membership types that cater to students, academics, practitioners, and organisations. Please visit the ESK website to find out more about the registration requirements here: https://esk.or.kr/aboutSociety/join_guide.asp