05/23 - 07/15/2022: Foundations for Cognitive, Macro and Physical Human Factors and Ergonomics (ERG100)

May 23 - July 15, 2022 (Online)

This course presents fundamental concepts from multiple disciplines that are essential to practicing ergonomics. The course begins with core topics from anatomy, kinesiology and the physiology of work as applied to human abilities and limitations. The class continues with an exploration of biomechanics, anthropometry, physical and psychosocial ergonomic risk factors and analytic methods to mitigate risk exposure. Finally, cognitive and macro ergonomics models are introduced along with considerations for the professional ergonomist.  Learners will also evaluate different environments based on concepts introduced in this course. Pulling these pieces together ensures a comprehensive approach to Human Factors and Ergonomics (HF/E) to both minimize injury and optimize worker performance.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this activity, the learner will be able to:

  • Define ergonomics and the various disciplines that contribute to the field

  • Describe the human musculoskeletal system and its limitations related to work

  • Identify and quantify the demands of work in terms of primary physical risk factors associated with work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) 

  • Summarize other factors that are associated with work related MSDs and impaired performance such as cognitive, psychosocial, and environmental risk factors

  • Illustrate proper application of anthropometric measurements for analysis and design 

  • Identify and apply common risk assessment tools to evaluate physical exposures

  • Compare the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial demands of a task to human capacity and ergonomics guidelines and identify mismatches that indicate risk

  • Perform a basic risk analysis of the design of existing hand tools, workstations, controls and displays

  • Perform a root cause analysis of observed ergonomic risk factors

  • Demonstrate knowledge of ergonomic approaches to the redesign of work by developing controls that reduce hazards and mitigate risk

  • Describe a basic cost benefit analysis and calculate a simple return-on-investment to support a proposed solution

  • Describe macro ergonomics and participatory approaches to surveillance, assessment, and controls to prevent MSDs and optimize performance in a large workforce

  • Describe the basic components of an ergonomics program and ethical responsibilities in practice

  • Plan a path to certification or employment in the field of ergonomics

  • Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of the science of human factors and ergonomics and ethical responsibility in practice

Meg Honan, RPT, MS, CPE

Instructor: Meg Honan, MS, PT, CPE

Meg is a consulting ergonomist for the UC Ergonomics Laboratory and course instructor. She was the Ergonomics Program Manager for Genentech’s South San Francisco site until 2018, where she engaged leadership at all levels, and interdisciplinary teams through participatory ergonomics. This sphere of influence includes workplace and equipment design, process and production engineering, Safety, Health and Environment groups and safety improvement teams to integrate ergonomics into Genentech’s continuous improvement process. Her work experience has focused on employee work areas and work method assessment, and training employee based “Ergo-Advocate” improvement teams within Plant, Laboratory, Field operations, R&D and Office work environments. Meg has also been highly engaged in ergonomics as it relates to expanding the role of mobile devices, and how unassigned work environments and flexible work have transformed the way we work today. She received her Master’s at University of California, Berkeley and is a Board Certified Professional Ergonomist.

Melissa Afterman, MS-HFE, CPE

Instructor: Melissa Afterman, MS-HFE, CPE

Melissa Afterman is a Board Certified Professional Ergonomist with 20 years of consulting experience and is part of the the UC Ergonomics Research and Graduate Training Program. She works with organizations on ergonomics program development, risk assessment and mitigation, and tool evaluation and design for industrial and knowledge workers. Melissa earned her Bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly SLO in BioResource/Agricultural Engineering and her Master’s degree in Human Factors/Ergonomics Engineering from San Jose State University.