Ergonomics is not just a matter of table height or chair color, not only a matter of GSM phone good design to avoid pain or fingers'stress
Ergonomics does interest itself to work conditions improvement and usability improvement for products and for buildings.
Ergonomics takes care of :
- health and work conditions to bring you solutions to improve organization and products.
- products and buildings usability simulating uses to provide you with realistics and adapted solutions.
if you are looking for a "french" definition of ergonomics, please have a look at SELF's website.
Strongly pushed, in France, by militants and unions, french ergonomics is borned in the 50's in factories around health and work conditions questions.
Ergonomics is then, oriented of physical aspects of the work place and on developping the knowledge about healt at work.
In the 70-80's, some degrees were created in various programms by french ergonomist creators.
Ergonomics does explore at that time, not only the work place but the work situation, thus integrating new notions such as organization and the consequences on work and health.
In the 80's, we changed from actions oriented as diagnosys to actions oriented on solutions and managing the set up of solutions.
Since 1990, ergonomics is knowing a high growth with the diffusion in the society of numerous results on health, work diseases, stress associated problems, retirement and getting old at work; and about layout of buildings and products.
This growth is parrallel to work regulation since 1994 that bring employers to look at work place and products conception more closer.
Year 2000 and more...
Today, ergonomics actions are looking at the global work situation, trying to integrate all dimensions from physical to cognitive aspects, goig trough organization and management. We still make a point looking at health and efficiency but as a counterpoint on made improvments.
French ergonomist take more and more interests following up the set upo of solutions and realizations of products to bring with the proposed solutions a management of the changes. We do look closely, during projects, at the previous concepts and we make sure that they stay withn the project definition until the end and until the final user can see the product or buildings.
French ergonomics and ergonomists are taking part of new fields such as usability, design and architecture in wich they were not so much present in the past.
About 12 PHD ("DESS" in french) prepare new frenchies to become ergonomists (about 120 each year). The ratio of graduate has taken the lead on selfmade ergonomists.
In 2004, about 80 french ergonomist carry the "european ergonomist" quality label.