Who is an ergonomist and what do they do? An ergonomist seeks the optimum relation between the physical and psychological needs and characteristics of human beings and working conditions, properties of tools, aids and equipment used at work or in ordinary life. Ergonomists work at companies focused on the production of mass consumption products; they are often members of teams, preparing the shape, size and range of goods (for instance footwear and ready-made clothes). They may also work at design offices, preparing new products and at design centres. They also pursue their career at state health establishments, at industrial hygiene departments. Sometimes they find job opportunities also at state testing departments and business inspection institutions.
What are the activities of the ergonomist? Considers the appropriateness of production equipment, working tools in the production process or products in everyday use (for instance, electric appliances, furniture, control panels etc.) from the viewpoint of human physical and psychological characteristics. The results of the ergonomist’s work are usually used by designers and stylists in the design and construction of such products, which to an optimum extent meet the needs of people.
Where is it done and under what conditions? The working environment may be a production plant or factory, a laboratory or rooms with information technology equipment or the cockpit of an aircraft, as well as an office – it depends on the stage of the task s/he is at, and the context in which his/her expertise is being applied.
What tools/equipment do they use? Specialised devices, writing and drawing aids, information technology; special morphological, biophysical and biochemical methods and equipment where necessary.
What do you need to succeed? You need to have completed university studies in the field of biology at a faculty of science, with the relevant specialisation. The work of an ergonomist is intellectually demanding and requires independent creative thinking, patience and precision.