The Puget Sound Chapter of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

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Registration open until October 13, 2021

Registration Fees    Members $20 | Non-Members $50

Your registration fees cover the costs associated with this symposium and helps to support the local chapter.

Symposium Presentations

Thursday October 14th

Ergonomics and Biomechanics Product Making at Microsoft Devices

Edie Adams, M.E.Des, CPE

Director of Ergonomics Microsoft

Ryan Chang, Ph.D.

Senior Human Factors Engineer

Kelly Schmidtbauer, MS

Senior Human Factors Engineer

There is an aspiration centering product making within the Devices Design Team at Microsoft. It elevates and prioritizes human goals against those of technology, commerce, and time in delivering on a design vision. Through our efforts in Ergonomics and Biomechanics, we impact product design through a deep understanding of the physical interaction of people and products. Partnering with other disciplines in our Human Factors Center for Excellence, we build on that understanding by incorporating cognitive and emotional measures as well. We will present practical applications of ergonomics and biomechanics science in the design of our products in five areas: Hand biomechanics and sensory input; 3D human modeling: full body, upper limb, head; Device comfort: social, physical; Neuro-ergonomics: brain-work interface and Hardware/ Software Interaction; and Enlarging the size and range of the user population through accessibility and inclusion.

Strategies for Identifying and Monitoring Fatigue in the Workplace
Lora Cavuoto Ph.D, CPE

Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering

University at Buffalo

Fatigue has become a topic at the forefront of the safety discussion, with workers and companies recognizing the prevalence and importance of the topic. Although safety managers may recognize that they have an issue with fatigue in their workplace, they are often unsure how to address the problem. A number of factors can lead to fatigue, including lack of sleep, work stress, physical task demands, and shift schedule. Without intervention, worker fatigue can be a risk factor for both acute and cumulative injuries. Prevention of the negative outcomes requires accurate and timely identification of fatigue, which can be supported by quantifying a worker’s level of physical and physiological exposures along with their response to these exposures. The long-term goal of our work is to enable the individualized quantification of fatigue and subsequent risk in a manufacturing environment for intervention prescription. In working toward this goal, our recent objectives have been to apply wearable sensor technology to quantify the impact of work, develop models of fatigue estimation, and analyze the level of evidence for fatigue intervention. In this presentation, I will focus on the findings of our recent work and lessons learned for the assessment of fatigue in the workplace. 

Emerging technologies in Ergonomics - Exoskeletons, Wearable Sensors, Computer Vision, Virtual Reality, and Artificial Intelligence

Marisol Barrero

Global Ergonomist

Amazon Web Services 

Emerging technologies, particularly around the area of wearables, are truly changing the field of ergonomics as we know it.  Regardless if you are a true believer or a skeptic, it is hard to dismiss the constant chatter.  Whether it is reducing risk of MSDs, finding faster ways of completing ergonomics assessments, focusing on individual workers rather than processes, improving training retention, or making sense of all the data, emerging technologies can assist.  Examples of technology, such as exoskeletons, wearable sensors, computer vision, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence will be provided, and potential ergonomics use cases will be noted. 

Friday October 15th

Improving safety and quality through evidence-based healthcare design

Anjali Joseph, Ph.D, EDAC

Professor of Architecture

Clemson University

The built environment is a key component of the healthcare system that impacts patient safety, patient experience and quality of care. Evidence-based design (EBD) is defined as the process of making decisions about the design of the built environment on credible evidence with the goal of improving healthcare outcomes. However, there is a lack of awareness regarding the pervasive influence of the built environment on caregiving activities, and how its design could reduce risks for patients and providers. Once a facility is built or an old one refurbished, its design and relatively permanent nature shapes the quality of care for decades to come. The healthcare facility design and renovation process offer a key opportunity to integrate human factors approaches with EBD to create safer environments for patients and staff. This presentation provides an overview of EBD and describes projects conducted in collaboration with healthcare organizations where human factors and systems engineering approaches have been used during the facility design process to identify problems in healthcare systems and to proactively develop solutions to address these issues. 

Communicating the Value of Ergonomics and the Requirement for Technology to Business Stakeholders

Blake McGowan, MSc, CPE

Senior Global Enterprise Account Manager

Director of Ergonomics Research


Business stakeholders (plant leadership, quality, operations, manufacturing, board of directors, and investors) generally have a limited awareness or understanding of the value of ergonomics. Communicating it in a way they understand is critical, but it first must be defined clearly. In simple terms, ergonomics is the science of designing the workplace to match people's capabilities. When done right, two primary outcomes result–improved employee well-being and enhanced business performance. When business leaders understand these positive impacts of ergonomics will not be overlooked. Using data as language will demonstrate that ergonomics improves employee well-being by reducing absenteeism, voluntary turnover, recordable injuries, and worker's compensation claim costs. This results in improved business performance, including enhanced product quality, increased manufacturing performance, and better stock performance & corporate social responsibility. Generally, the business performance benefits are ten-times greater than the employee well-being benefits. Once business stakeholders understand the value of ergonomics, they need to understand why and how technology can be leveraged to improve the efficiency of risk assessments, to enhance the quality of the data, and to provide actionable insights. During this presentation, participants will learn how best to communicate the value of ergonomics and the need for technology to business stakeholders in the language and metrics they understand.

Heat-in-Transit: The Human-Centred Design of a Bitumen Trailer (and other related cases)

Sara Pazell, BAppSci(OT), MBA, Ph.D., CPE

Managing Director

ViVA health at work


Good work design that is human-centred supports productivity and well-being among workers. Human-centred design considers effective interaction with equipment, tools, and machinery throughout the product and production-employment lifecycle of the worker. This is a complex process since considerations must be made for product use: work conditions, decisions, and tactics; design regulations and standards; activity exposure; and the vast range of tasks that may be undertaken. Capital equipment, such as industrial vehicles and mobile plant, are expensive and retained for a significant operating period. A human-centred approach ensures improved performance.

This presentation will describe the methods undertaken for the design review of heavy industrial vehicles and trailers. The pinnacle case, the redesign of a bitumen trailer, reveals how determination led to its innovation with the use of new heating elements to reduce transit time and, thus, operator fatigue.  Other examples will be provided to describe the after-market assessment of the fit of a vehicle to the operator, tasks, and work conditions.



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