Ergonomic Consideration for Plant Design and Layout

 Important ergonomic Factors to be considered in Plant layout and Design include:

1.       Free space (80 to 100 cm) around each Machine for easy and safe Movement.
2.       No overcrowding, Breathing space of 14.2 MPer worker( Max height 4.2 M)
3.       Ventilation Operation – 15% of the floor area minimum. Window bottom height 1 meter or less from the working floor for natural ventilation.
4.       A Traversing part of materials carried by machinery should not approach with in 50 Cm of any fixed structure which is not part of the machine.
5.       Suitable platforms, Safe means of Access lifting appliances suspension points should be provided to facilitate cleaning and Maintenance work.
6.       Height and position of the seats, Valves, gauges, Indicators, Switches, push buttons, Breaks notices etc., Should be suitable to the operation. Safe manual lifting methods should be utilised.
Types of Ergonomic Design are as under:
Working space Design
Seat, Bench or console( Control or comfort) design, Positions of Controls, displays and materials, operator’s body, data and their working models including computer graphics
Environmental design
Light, Ventilation, Humidity, Noise, Vibration etc. Comfortable to the operator.
Work time or Situation Design
Working Hours, Intervals, Shift schedule and inter-personal aspects of work
Interface Design
Exchange of information between man and machine or environment e.g. display gives and control receives information. Proper design of display (Pointers, letters, numbers, figures, etc.) and controls (Knobs, brakes, switches, size, shape, position, forces, etc.) most convenient to the men
System Design
Allocation of function/job between man and machine and procedure. New technique to understand limitation of each other and to fill the gap by the best design.
   All these are overlap and interrelated. The main object of ergonomic design to get long term gain with no adverse effects on health and safety and to minimise human errors, efforts, stress and strain and ultimately risks and accidents.
   Workplace design calls for following ergonomic factors.
1.       Standing position, offers more mobility, more arm strength application, less front to rear room, no seat and greater latitude in work station design
2.       Sitting position offers forceful pedal operations, less fatigue, precise vision.
3.       Work object or job position should be close to the front edge of the work surface to avoid more bending or leaning.
4.       Sufficient room for hands and feet movement with footrest and backrest to work while sitting.
5.       Visual display should be in front of the body and below eye level so that the lines of sight are declined 10 to 40 degree below the horizontal level.
6.        Avoid holding time of work piece or hand tool to minimise muscle tension.
7.       Use lever mechanism to apply less force. Take advantage of mechanical design, appliance, equipment, instrument etc. To reduce manual work
8.       Foot controls for seated operators, soft floor(e.g. rubber mats) for standing operator, adjustable chair to maintain proper sitting height, permitting posture change to avoid fatigue, allowing sitting/ standing alteration and enough space for working are all to be considered  in ergonomic design.
9.       Computer operators have posture and vision Complaints, e.g. musculoskeletal pain & discomfort, eye strain and fatigue. Studying the position, furniture, equipment, lights etc. Should be redesigned. Upright trunk and neck position, forward set surface, properly shaped backrest and properly placed controls and displays are necessary.      

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