The relevant topics include communication, staff resource management, work design, design of working times, teamwork, participatory design, community ergonomics, co-operative work, new work paradigms, organisational culture, virtual organisations and quality management. (David, nd)
Businesses have responsibilities to those who work for them as well as to those who visit the organization. In the public sector ergonomics are "extremely important n defining standards and legislation and in ensuring compliance with the standards and legislation.
VI. Ten Top Tips for Ergonomics
Ten top tips provided by David (nd) are the tips as follows: "(1) Ergonomics should be an integral part of the design process, preferably involving qualified ergonomists within the design team. Most value is achieved through early involvement and close liaison throughout; (2) Ergonomics issues should be considered at the very beginning of a project - don't wait for problems to arise later on because their remedy will rarely be as simple, as effective or as cheap as they are if the problems were predicted in advance. As a rule of thumb, in the case of product design, spend 70-80% of the ergonomics budget in the research and early design phases, with 20-30% for iterative evaluation of prototypes etc.; (3) Don't think that if your design is satisfactory for you, that it will automatically be satisfactory for everybody else - it won't!; (4) Consider the full range of users - don't design for the 'average' person - he/she doesn't exist. Ergonomists have been publishing data on human abilities and characteristics for over 50 years - there is plenty of information available; (5) Analyse how people really use products, systems and environments similar to those you are designing. Establish an empathy with the users - define their mental models, their knowledge and expectations. Identify and design for their tacit and latent needs; (6) Analyse the tasks, conditions and environments in which the product might be used. Identify all possible hazards or human errors, which could occur when using the product - then try to design them out or minimise their consequences.; (7) Involve user representatives in reiterative testing throughout the design process - from early concepts to final designs. Devise fair tests which avoid bias towards solutions preferred by the design team; (8) in user testing, never assume a test participant is stupid because they have difficulty with something which to you is simple - the problems will only be multiplied if the product goes to market without further improvement.; (9) Test the instructions as well as the product. They are legally part of the product and any usability problems can highlight opportunities to improve the instructions, and in some cases, to improve the product itself; and (10) if you haven't worked with an ergonomist before - and no one you know can recommend one, don't be put off. Contact the Ergonomics Society website (www.ergonomics.org) and review its list of registered consultancies." (David, nd)
It is related in the work of Richard Watts entitled: "Workplace Satisfaction and Performance Measurement" that: "Post Occupancy evaluation (POE) is one method of making workplace performance measures with a focus on the satisfaction of user thorough means of collection of surveys/interview. The use of POE is specifically useful in making evaluation f pilot and experimental projects prior to wide applications." (Watts,
Questions generally request information concerning the work pattern space and facilities of the individual. The drawback of the use of POE in measuring satisfaction is that no baseline of data to compare the responses to exist. POE objectives include the activities as follows: (1) Identify and quantify any unsatisfactory aspects for assessment and possible solution; (2) to provide a quality benchmark for future projects; (3) to demonstrate the project teams commitment to meet users needs; and (4) to foster a wider appreciation of the project by both occupants and management.
VII. Consideration of the 'Aged' Individuals
Jeremy Porteus, Chairman of the Design for Living Taskforce states that "Across the UK, the reshaping of the Age Pyramid will have wide reaching implications for all aspects of society, and offer new challenges, opportunities and markets for business. By 2020, there will be major pressures on the ageing population, an increasing old sector of society whose lifestyle is healthier for longer. There will be issues and opportunities arising from products that enable older people to remain independent and active for longer. Those who wish to stay in work for longer will be able to do so There will be a large increase in the post-65-year-old group compared with the situation today, and a particularly dramatic increase in those aged over 80. Maintaining control and independence, especially in the older years will present opportunities to develop ways in which people can remain independent for longer. Stated as key drivers in the leisure industry are the increase in leisure time for participation in and the greater awareness of leisure-related facilities and activities of older persons.
IX. EQUAL ACCESS for DISABLED
In a report from the University of Edinburgh reported is that: "The CSE is working towards extending its target population including disabled people. It has carried out a major re-configuration of the Pleasance Sports Centre concourse (2005) to provide a wide range of health and fitness facilities." (2006) Changes included installing a lifeline "from the main concourse area to the sports hall (increasing access to major team games, racquets and club activities; as well as to the adjacent rifle/archery ranges) and a second lift to the Trust Upper Hall.
CSE are purchasing Inclusive Fitness Industry (IFI) compliant equipment which is kit accredited for use by disabled people (e.g. tactile displays; yellow foot-straps/buttons to assist visually impaired people etc.). Dedicated shower toilet and changing areas have been installed, as well as electric doors, colour coding in corridors and the installation of audio loops at reception." (Ibid) These changes are very much similar to the changes that must be made in leisure facilities throughout the entire world.
Summary and Conclusion
Changes in the architecture and design of leisure facilities must be undertaken worldwide if equal access and inclusion are to be the reality. As stated older individuals are going to live longer lives and utilize leisure facilities as never before and furthermore the diversity of the employee- and user-groups of the leisure facility will require customization. Studies should be conducted on-site in coordination with ergonomists and focus employees and users in gaining the knowledge of precisely what is needed at that time, in that place, and by the group of employees and users represented. While there are certainly excellent guidelines that exist insofar as compliance measures it is highly improbable that every diverse possibility might be addressed across-the-board. The requirements will be inclusive of all three broad headings of physical, psychological, and organizational factors in ergonomics in that each of these must necessarily be addressed in view of accommodation for today's employee and user groups.
Coleman, Roger (2006) From Margins to Mainstream: Why Inclusive Design is Better. Helen Hamlyn Research Centre, Royal College of Art, London. Online available at http://www.ergonomics.org.uk/espdfs/ErgSocLecture.pdf.
Rennie, Claire (2006) Some Talk of Alexander. Ability. Issue 61 Spring 2006. Online available at http://22.214.171.124/search?q=cache:MysQIVQQ_6UJ:www.ni-libraries.net/app/content/docs/ability61.pdf+Ergonomic+needs+of+users+and+employees+of+UK+Local+Authority+Leisure+Centres&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=56&gl=us.
Mid Devon District Council Annual Report on Health and Safety; 1 April 2005-30 April 2006. Online available at (http://www.middevon.gov.uk/media/pdf/j/k/Agenda_Item_4(a).pdf
Employer's Forum Update September (2002) Online available at http://www.employers-forum.co.uk/www/guests/update/september2002/up0902.doc.
David, Gary (nd) About: Ergonomics.. Online available at http://www.design-council.org.uk/Documents/About%20design/Design%20techniques/Ergonomics/Ergonomics%20by%20Gary%20Davis.pdf
Porteus, Jeremy (nd) Title Unknown. Chairman of Design for living Taskforce Report Online available at; http://www.foresight.gov.uk/Previous_Rounds/Foresight_1999__2002/Ageing_Population/Reports/Age%20Shift%20Consultation%20Document%20TF%20report/Ageing_Report_4.pdf.
The Ergonomic Needs of People in the UK Local Authority Run Leisure Facilities
The Ergonomic Needs of People in UK Local Authority Run Leisure Facilities