Human Factors Engineering There Is Case Study

Excerpt from Case Study :

The work environment, for example, could be conducive to this type of stress, as can the relationship with other employees and with supervisors.

This type of fatigue is vastly different from the mental or physical fatigue of direct work overburden, and is also more subtle than these types of fatigue. It should therefore be carefully monitored in terms of its nature and how it interacts with other types of fatigue, particularly when the workforce is diminished.

Because of the complexity of psychological loading factors, Dr. Bill should be careful to monitor, revise, and update company policy in terms of issues such as communication among employees as well as among employees and their supervisors. Communication can play a significant part in how employees perceive their work, as well as how they experience the burden of their work in a psychological sense.

Mental loading, on the other hand, is probably the most common loading factor in today's workplace. Because of advances in technology, mental loading means the amount of time and strain involved in using the mental faculties, as opposed to the physical, to complete a task. In Dr. Bill's company, mental loading is bound to increase when the workplace is modernized by increasing the number of machines and computers being used at the company. This burden is also likely to increase when the workforce is diminished.

Dr. Bill should carefully monitor remaining staff for any signs of mental fatigue when assigning duties to remaining employees. While the current fatigue level experience by employees is most likely psychological and could be the result of being underburdened, Dr. Bill should be careful to avoid overburdening employees once the company has been restructured. And important component of this is that the remaining employees will not be used to the type of tasks assigned to them. This could result in both psychological and mental loading, which could ultimately result in more than one type of fatigue.

When training employees in the use of the new equipment, a good idea may be to help them understand the symptoms of various types of fatigue and seek help when they recognize these in themselves. This could remove some of the burden from supervisors, although careful monitoring should be applied when claims of mental or psychological fatigue are offered.

Physical loading refers to the physical strain that might be experienced at the workplace. As suggested above, the use of new machinery and equipment at Dr. Bill's company could result in unforeseen physical consequences. Long hours spent at a stationary cubicle in front of a computer could result in particular kinds of physical strain that might affect the physique adversely. This could result in physical conditions, which could severely impact the company's ability to make a profit, as seen above.

When implementing new equipment, Dr. Bill should take into account the various assessments completed in terms of workplace environment. Unforeseen physical loading could otherwise result in unforeseen physical conditions and physical fatigue. This is especially the case with the company's plans to move forward with a restructuring schedule for employees. Since the plan is to create a more efficient workforce, care should be taken not to overload the remaining employees, since this can be as devastating as underloading them. Physical overload can, for example, be experienced by sitting in a stationary position for prolonged hours. Company policy in this regard should be modified to ensure that employees take precautions against physical injury that could result from this. One example of such precautions would be to require employees to physically move away from their workstations at regular intervals to mitigate the strain that would be incurred from the environment.

Although it is more likely that overload would be incurred by means of mental workload, the physical aspect can hardly be ignored. Indeed, employees who are unused to a certain physical posture or the particular physical demands of working with particular machinery and equipment may experience a period of adjustment and consequent strain.

When Dr. Bill restructures his company, this is an important component that needs to be taken into account in terms of both overburden and underburden. Current employees are experiencing the
...Fatigue resulting from overload, however, could be equally devastating to both the workplace and the profitability of the company and should receive due consideration.


Office space lighting should be at a level that is comfortable for both workers and customers. This depends upon the function and setup of the office. Since Dr. Bill is aiming to set up computerized work stations at the office, it is most likely that lighting should not create undue glare that would cause workers to feel uncomfortable during their work day. Hence, lighting should be relatively low, but not so low as to make reading or seeing impossible (City Office, 2012).

In the laboratory environment, there are two aspects of ambient lighting that should be taken into account: beam direction and fixture location relative to the bench top. Beam direction could be direct, indirect, or direct/indirect. Fixture location could be parallel, perpendicular, or other. The preferred configuration is generally direct-indirect, set up parllel to the bench. In this way, a certain percentage of the light is directed upwards, while the rest is directed downwards. The advantages of the light are then captured for laboratory work while the disadvantages are minimized. In other words, the highest percentage of illuminance is achieved while glare is minimized. While laboratory work generally requires more sharp lighting than the general office space, glare should nonetheless be reduced.

On a manufacturing floor, glare control is not as important as for laboratory and office spaces, where computers are more likely to be in used. The manufacturing floor is likely to be a space where sufficient light is required to be able to see the finer details of components and equipment. Many critics today recommend using as much as possible natural light, where large windows and a good location of the building are essential. Failing that lighting that is bright enough to reveal the finer details of working and building components is essential


The topic that probably comes closest to this exam in terms of HFE is the concept of overload, as well as mental, physical, and psychological fatigue. The nature of this exam has required significant mental work, resulting in a sense of overload in terms of these faculties. Students who work on assignments like this are required not only to do research and consolidate their findings into a document that is both sensible and logical, but also to do so within specific time constraints. The strain incurred from this activity could have an effect upon the mental faculties and result in a certain degree of fatigue.

In terms of psychological loading and fatigue, the perception of time constraints and the potential of the assignment to help the student reach his or her goal of passing the course could result in psychological strain and fatigue. The student might experience a sense of overload in terms of his or her perceived ability to complete the assignment adequately. In other words, a significant doubt in one's own ability to complete the work to a satisfactory level could result in a sense of psychological burden and fatigue.

Physical loading could result from the strain of spending long hours in front of a computer screen in order to complete the assignment. Ergonomic factors might result from non-optimized furniture and/or posture when using this equipment, as well as a lack of physical exercise while doing so.

All three types of fatigue may therefore be incurred by completing this assignment, while as sense of overload may form part and parcel of this. In order to mitigate these effects for students, the most important step that could be taken is to ensure that all students understand how to complete the assignment. The lecturer as leader should therefore ensure that his or her explanations are thorough and clear.

A communication aspect can also mitigate the effects of psychological strain. If students are invited to communicate any uncertainties regarding their ability or understanding levels could, for example, go a long way towards alleviating the sense of psychological overloading.


Human metabolism refers to the way in which the human body process, stores, and creates physical energy and the ability to sustain such energy. This is vital for the workplace, since sustained energy levels also result in better work performance. An understanding of the metabolic system can therefore significantly enhance the individual's ability to sustain a higher level of focus in the workplace.

When considering the word "metabolism, it refers to changes that occur to food nutrients after they are absorbed into the body via the digestive system. After passing through the alimentary tract, the nutrients affect cellular activity for the utilization of nutrients. The combustion of food elements then releases energy in the form of heat and chemical energy, which is generally referred to as the metabolism in the human body.…

Sources Used in Documents:


Advameg, Inc. (2012). Sprains and Strains. Retrieved from:

City Office (2012). Retrieved from:

How Does Human Metabolism Work? (2012). Retrieved from:

Overgaard, D., Gyntelberg, F. And Heitmann, B.L. (2004). Psychological workload and body weight: is there an association? A review of the literature. Occupational Medicine, no. 54. Retrieved from:

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