Applicability Of Ergonomics As An Evolving Speciality In Industrially-developing Countries: The Sri Lankan Experience | 17625
Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs
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Ergonomics (or human factors) is an evolving specialty all over the world. With the advancement of technology and growing
evidence, the science has also penetrated dramatically in to each and every field and all categories of countries. Industriallydeveloping
countries are still lagging behind inculcating ergonomics in their contexts.
Sri Lanka is now recognized as a model developing country. Scientific evidence reveals gross deficiencies in ergonomics
in many settings in Sri Lanka. Mismatched ergonomics result in multitude of negative health consequences and may have
implications on productivity of the population. Feasible solutions are available to mitigate such negative effects. Though
ergonomics is still a novel science for the country, there are several fragmented approaches launched focusing on key areas of
ergonomics eg., Occupational Safety & Health (OSH), ergonomics for children, healthy schoolbag campaign and healthcare
A crucial stake lies with the healthcare professionals to promote and apply ergonomics in the Sri Lankan settings. Although a
multitude of areas are covered under ergonomics, it is essential to focus on priority areas such as child ergonomics, occupational
health, computer ergonomics etc. The expert committee on ergonomics of Sri Lanka Medical Association has launched several
initiatives to inculcate an ergonomic culture in local settings. This paper describes the national healthy schoolbag campaign,
OSH initiatives, media awareness projects and child helmet promotion as exemplary health-led ergonomic activities in Sri
Lanka. Further expansion of the work necessitates multi-sector involvement; health, education, labour, corporate, industry etc.
In a context of rapid technology transfer, promotion of ergonomics both at macro and micro levels will undoubtedly
contribute to the economic and human development of a nation. Ergonomics is everywhere and is applicable in the Sri Lankan
contexts. The experience of Sri Lanka will enlighten countries with similar background to translate ergonomic knowledge in
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