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How Designers Apply Ergonomics at SME’s in Colombia

By: Isabel Piraquive   David Puentes Lagos  

This article presents the results of a research project that identifies how designers apply their ergonomics knowledge at SME’s. At Colombia, industrial designers are some of the professionals that have the knowledge about ergonomics for organizations. Also, designers can apply their knowledge of ergonomics for improving product design, as well as productive and workers safety and health. The research project was developed at seven footwear manufacturing companies from the neighborhood Restrepo at Bogotá city. The methodology had three phases. The first one was related to documentary review. The second phase was related to work field at SMEs. The third phase was the analysis of data. Some instruments were surveys for managers and designers, created in order to know what were the designers’ main activities at those companies, and how they were applying their ergonomics knowledge. Some analysis were included from qualitative research: word clouds revealed the real interest of the managers in some specific subjects of ergonomics. Some results from the research project revealed that the principal application of ergonomics is related to the domain of physical ergonomics like sizes of the shoes, the shapes of the sole. There were also some minor applications of cognitive and organizational ergonomics associated to usability tests and some concerns about workers wellbeing. Other results show that the managers have not enough knowledge about ergonomics. That situation have been restricting designers to apply ergonomics in a broad way inside the organizations.

Designers, SMEs, Ergonomics, Footwear Manufacturing, Managers, Ergonomics Application
Organizational Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session



Isabel Piraquive

National University of Colombia, Colombia
Colombia



David Puentes Lagos

National University of Colombia, Colombia
Colombia