Case study: Process and outcome review of a participative ergonomics project in an asphalt production plant

Sara Pazell, Robin Burgess-Limerick, Tim Horberry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOtherpeer-review


Evidence supporting the benefits of participatory ergonomics is compelling. Ergonomics may improve productivity, mitigate high-risk activity, promote social connectedness, and inspire innovation. However, the practices are not well integrated in many management systems. Program and process evaluation is required to support the sustainability of the practice. This case study describes the selection of a critical control to improve the manual task of sweeping recycled asphalt product (RAP) at a production plant. A multi-criteria decision making model was applied retrospectively to consider the decisions that were made in terms of selecting the control. The case study was reviewed according to an Occupational Perspective of Health, a spectrum of safety through to productivity (or "doing-being-becoming-belonging"). Managers were asked for their input regarding the importance of the ergonomics process, the people involved, and the outcomes achieved. The findings revealed that decision-making models may support a participative design process and ergonomics outcomes may be viewed along a performance continuum and, in this case, address many elements important to good work design. The elements that were perceived to be important to the design process included worker involvement, ergonomist skill set, and task selection.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication51st Annual Conference of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia 2016
Subtitle of host publicationHealthy, Safe and Productive By Design
PublisherHuman Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia Inc. (HFESA)
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781510832572
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventHuman Factors and Ergonomics Conference (Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia) 2016 - Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 6 Nov 20169 Nov 2016
Conference number: 51st


ConferenceHuman Factors and Ergonomics Conference (Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia) 2016
Abbreviated titleHFESA 2016
CityGold Coast
Internet address

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