Your opportunity to stand out is here!

Share your success stories, best practices, inspiring experiences - submit your abstract for #AppliedErgo2020 today! Abstracts for oral presentations are due Aug. 9; Poster abstracts are due Nov. 29.

Listen to an interview about ergonomics on IISE's brand new podcast

"The Buy-In For Ergonomics with Julia Abate and Monica V. Matlis" from the new podcast, available for download on the "Problem Solved" website or your favorite source for podcasts.

Looking forward to seeing you at AEC 2020!

Building on the success of AEC 2019, plan now to attend this ergo extravaganza in 2020 in the beautiful Bluegrass State. #AppliedErgo2020

AES and UL team up for specialist certificate

Ergo leaders can't be everywhere, but through this five-session, online suite, their expertise can. Click on the image above to learn more about this new program.

Learn more about Bobbie Watts

Read more about this ergonomics director in the March 2019 ISE magazine - she's featured in the monthly "What's Your Story?"

AEC Free Webinar Series

The Applied Ergonomics Conference Committee hosts a series of free webinars to showcase the valuable content at AEC. Check out the upcoming schedule and past recordings.

JOIN the applied ergonomics society

Three Levels of AES Membership

There are 3 unique levels of membership intended to meet the needs of everyone in this community:

  • Students - we want to provide students the opportunity to network and develop in this profession. AES will help them share solutions and obtain professional certifications, as well as provide ongoing professional development.
    Price: $39 for IISE membership and an additional $5 for AES membership
  • Professionals - This level includes full benefits from IISE including:
    • The monthly ISE magazine
    • Webinars
    • Member discounts on conferences and training
    • Membership in IISE Connect, the new vibrant online community
    • A subscription to IISE’s quarterly journal for occupational ergonomics
    Price: $159 for IISE membership and an additional $35 for AES membership
    Note: There is a $15 processing fee for first-time professional members.

  • Affiliate Members - focused on people working on the shop floor or other settings who may be participating in the Ergo Cup. Benefits include short, modular online training courses in applied ergonomics, safety and other areas. They will have opportunities to network, share ideas on workplace improvement and continued development and support for applied ergonomics in the workplace.
    Price: $82 for AES only membership

New Members - Join Here | Existing IISE Members - Join Here

Message from the President-elect

As an ergonomics practitioner and consultant, I have been challenged many times on projects to evaluate and provide solutions to complex problems.  This has been very rewarding, but it also has challenged me to evaluate alternative approaches and my knowledge of our ergonomics science.  One recent project that I would like to share involved the redesign and replacement of a new material handling system.  During the demolition and construction phase of the project, the company created a temporary work area to allow operations to continue.  This new area created a complex manual material handling (MMH) task.  The job was made up of eight subtasks that included pulling, lifting, carrying, lowering and pushing objects of varying weights (ranging from 20 to 70 lbs.) hundreds of times over the course of the day.  In addition to the MMH tasks, there was also reaching, back flexion, and walking, and the task was performed outside in a hot and humid work environment where temperatures could easily exceed 95 degrees. 

The company was concerned about three things for this new temporary work area:

1)    What are the ergonomic risks of this job?

2)    How many objects can we expect employees to lift over the course of the day?

3)    Will fatigue be an issue and will employees get burned out?

To answer these questions let's take a look into our ergonomic toolbox and find some methods that can be used to provide management with some answers.

  • Most of the ergonomic assessment tools evaluate single subtasks in insolation (NIOSH Lifting Equation, Snook/Liberty Mutual MMH tables, biomechanical software, Strain Index, RULA, HAL, etc.). However, most jobs involve more than one subtask, such as my example above.
  • So, how do we assess the cumulative effect of multiple subtasks?
    • Some current tools  1, 2, 3 that account for these type of activities involve using metabolic equations and work rates of each subtask, but they are very labor-intensive and time-consuming to use.
    • Other methods have their own pros and cons and levels of complexity. These include: the NIOSH Composite Lifting Index (CLI) 4; Cumulative Lifting Index (CULI) 5; Cumulative Spine Compression and Shear 6, 7; Lumbar Motion Monitor 8; Simulation Software (Jack Task Builder 9); and, most recently, the Recommended Cumulative Rest Allowance 10, 11, Fatigue Failure Tools (LiFFT 12 and DUET 13), and the Three-Compartment Muscle Fatigue Model 14, 15.

As practitioners, we are often faced with workplace challenges that our ergonomic toolkit does not easily allow us to answer, so we rely on personal experiences and tradeoffs to provide our customers with the best solution based on the most accurate information we can obtain.

I want to start the conversation on this topic by hearing your thoughts on how you evaluate complex jobs. Please post your comments to the IISE Connect.

Stay tuned for upcoming newsletters that will expand upon this topic!

Ben Zavitz, CPE, AES President-elect

AES Member Spotlight - Eric Hassen

Eric Hassen is the Director of Business Development with Caster Connection in Columbus, Ohio, where he has worked for six years. In this position, Eric and his colleagues work with engineers and ergonomists on a multitude of applications, many of which involve lowering the amount of pushing and pulling required to move materials handling carts. What Eric first found to be surprising about his job is the complexity of designing casters and carts to overcome the wide range of variables and obstacles that exist in an industrial environment. These features include caster bearing type and precision, the design of swivel leads, and the physical composition of the caster itself. He regularly works on challenging projects to meet customer needs, such as when an end user desires a cart design so that employees can safely push two tons of product! Eric finds it particularly satisfying when he can significantly lower push-pull forces of employees who must handle carts every day, knowing that this reduces their workload, makes their jobs easier, and results in a big improvements in their lives. When not at work, Eric is active in the lives of his children, ages six and three. In the time left over, he loves to play golf, cook new dishes (as he once attended culinary school), and travel the world. His goal is to experience the many amazing things that exist in our world.