Upcoming Webinars

The Role of Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) in Facilitating Sustainability - A Virtual Event

The Role of Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) in Facilitating Sustainability - A Virtual Event

Wednesday, October 23, 2019
12:00 - 6:00pm Eastern Standard Time
Click here to view the full event schedule
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Time Title
12:00 - 13:00 Sustainable work and its relation to decent work
13:00 - 14:00 Boosting micro- and macro-sustainable development through know-how sharing
14:00 - 15:00 Human factors in green protocols for sustainability in the built environment
15:00 - 16:00 French activity-centered ergonomics and models of sustainability in human factors: from dialogue to collaboration?
16:00 - 17:00 Sustainability based on values: insights from ergonomics perspective
17:00 - 18:00 Ergoecological criteria to achieve corporate sustainability
18:00 - 19:00 Complex, interdependent sustainability issues and the potential role of human factors and ergonomics in the Persian Gulf
Sustainable work and its relation to decent work
Knut Inge Fostervold (University of Oslo), Peter Christian Koren (University of Stavanger) & Odd Viggo Nilsen (Akershus County Council, Oslo)
Generally, work is seen as beneficial to both the individual and the society, but may also include repercussions that often unforeseen and undesired. Sustainable work should be understood as a totality, where the needs of the individual, the enterprise, and the society are dealt with in a proper and balanced way, at the same time ensuring that the environment remains functional, ecologically and biologically, today as well as in the future. Related to sustainability, most concern has been directed towards macro-level repercussions, of which global warming is perhaps the most prominent example. Repercussions are however not confined to the macro-level. Most undesired effects experienced by the individual are actually at the meso- and micro-level. The understanding of work and the influence of work on individuals, communities and society is therefore an essential factor in any future life scenario. The main goals of the three main work-life stakeholders (i.e. individuals, enterprises, and society) are not necessarily overlapping. Employers and business managers, for example, often hold beliefs that HFE is mainly focused on occupational health and safety (OHS) issues, downplaying important issues such as productivity and revenue. A key missing factor in this regard is the reciprocity in values and goals between HFE and programmes promoting quality of work, such as the Decent Work Agenda. Sustainable work implies enabling workers to engage and develop throughout their career. People will always strive for a better life for themselves and for their family, disregarding how this affects the society or the environment in the long term. The only viable option is thus to facilitate alternative courses of action that are considered profitable for all those concerned. To the authors, this seems impossible without facilitation of ideas and values linked to decent work.

Knut Inge FostervoldKnut Inge Fostervold
Boosting micro- and macro-sustainable development through know-how sharing
Emilio Rossi (Emilio Rossi Design Consulting & University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy)
The Manzini studies on Design for Sustainability argue that the transition processes toward a ‘Sustainable Society’ require context-based solutions that are able to generate new ideas of wellbeing: local values, sharing networks, new forms of consumption, global-local scenarios, etc. This idea is very important if we consider that we live in a hyper-connected society, and in the next years emerging design opportunities introduced by ICT paradigms will further empower our lives. Knowledge sharing recently received strategic importance for people, and a large amount of open data is shared within physical and virtual networks. While ‘explicit knowledge’ is defined as knowledge sharable through the use of communication media (i.e. written text, speech), ‘tacit knowledge’ – also known as ‘know-how’ – is hard to share since it is linked with personal learning processes mediated by experiential actions. As such, people are often unable to share what they know from their experience. Considering present and future socio-technical system scenarios of sustainable development, and the role of HFE and design disciplines, this proposal investigates the role of know-how sharing as a context-based strategic factor for promoting sustainability-oriented innovations, both at small- and at large scales. A number of knowledge-driven design strategies and sets of promising design applications will be drawn up to introduce alternative paths within sustainability-oriented researches.

Emilio_Rossi.jpgEmilio Rossi
Human factors in green protocols for sustainability in the built environment 
Erminia Attaianese (University of Naples Frederico II, Italy)
Green building rating tools are systems developed for fostering building stakeholders, professionals, and consumers, to request, adopt, and implement sustainability goals in the design of the built environment. They focus on building projects and rate levels of performance compliance with specific goals and requirements, considering the building’s lifecycle. While the certification methods vary across different rating tools, their common objective is that certified building projects within these programs are conceived and designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment both on the natural environment and, in theory, on human health. Conceived for green building assessment, sustainability certification protocols have progressively widened their scope, proposing evaluation systems for groups of buildings, neighborhoods, and even cities. Worldwide comparisons demonstrate that the main green rating tools pay little attention to the social dimension of sustainability and, particularly, to HFE facets, since human-related factors among assessment credits, expressed in implicit and explicit terms, are limited and underweighted. Particularly, criticisms of current systems are emerging both with regards to the building scale and to the urban scale, due to a restricted idea of sustainability, unbalanced toward the green footprint, and thus usually limited to the environmental facet. Based on a literature overview, a direct analysis of the main green protocols and applications, the current role of HFE in protocols at the building and community scale is investigated. How this role could be further improved is also discussed.

Erminia_Attaianese.jpgErminia Attaianese
French activity-centered ergonomics and models of sustainability in human factors: from dialogue to collaboration?
Julien Guibourdenche (Ersya, France), Andrew Thatcher (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa), Paul Yeow (Monash University Malaysia)
This presentation deepens the recent discussions of Thatcher, Guibourdenche & Cahour, (2019) and Guibourdenche et al. (2019) on the complementarity of a French Activity-Centered Ergonomics (FACE) and models of sustainability in ergonomics (Sustainable System-of-Systems, Ergoecology and Human Factors & Sustainable Development). The first part is dedicated to a summary of recent results and challenges concerning (a) human individual experience of activity (richer in situ understanding, longer time scales), teamwork (organizational and interorganizational co-ordination) and larger systems or spatio-temporal frames of intervention/research. The second part proposes perspectives for future articulation in research as well as in intervention, in order to stimulate the discussion : from the local and concrete commitment of the “citizen ergonomist” in their everyday environment of life and work, to the contribution of the “expert ergonomist” working in highly abstract and complex models (e.g. with multi-agent-systems or other systemic approaches). Through this, we would like to suggest two questions. Would the tensions between “incommensurable” approaches of human work be a space for the development of HFE towards more sustainable interventions and research? Would we need new collaboration projects and organizations in order to build the future of HFE and a more sustainable world?

Julien Guidbourdenche
Sustainability based on values: insights from ergonomics perspective 
Ivan Bolis (University of Sao Paul, Brazil), Sandra Morioka
The article shows the results of an academic research project developed between 2011 and 2017, connecting the discipline of ergonomics with the theme of sustainable development. Under the corporate sustainability perspective, the intention of companies is to create value for internal and external stakeholders, including employees. In this aspect, corporate sustainability aligns its objectives towards the theme of HFE. Both perspectives seek to provide well-being for workers, and to recognize the importance of their work. Despite these intentions, companies face difficulties in introducing effective sustainability policies. In this context, the research question of the presentation is: how can companies improve their decision-making process to increase workers' well-being using policies integrating corporate sustainability and HFE issues? From the discussion of decision making process in corporations, different typologies of rationalities can be identified in the corporate sustainability context. Decisions should not be introduced solely in an instrumental way, considering the unique maximization of the economic-financial value. Decision makers need to recognize their bounded rationality, need to make decisions based on a communicative rationality involving their stakeholders in shared discussions and decisions and they would have to consider the implicit values connected with the theme of sustainable development. This new paradigm opens opportunities for HFE to participate in corporate sustainability discussion bringing more axiological and substantive decisions.

Ivan_Bolis_updated.pngIvan Bolis

Sandra Morioka

Ergoecological criteria to achieve corporate sustainability
Martha Helena Saravia-Pinilla, Carolina Daza-Beltrán, Lucas Rafael Ivorra Peñafort (Pontificia Universidad de Javeriana, Colombia)
Although the importance of sustainability is clear in the global agenda, some organizations find difficult to include sustainability in their daily activities. Our presentation summarizes the general concepts and the proposal of the ergoecology approach, pointing out how it can contribute to the consolidation of “corporate sustainability”. To make corporate sustainability operational, first those aspects that can make it more robust and coherent at the time of its application need to be indicated. In a brief manner, the conceptual proposal of ergoecology will be explained including corporate sustainability itself, the ecospherical approach, and integral ecology. Then, the proposed guide to achieve sustainability will be established and the “ergoecological criteria” will be explained. There are seven criteria, organized in three levels of complexity: micro-, macro-, and supra-scales. For each criterion, examples from real organization cases will be explained to illustrate the different ways in which an organization could take the criteria to achieve sustainability with an ergoecological approach and thus gaining ecospherical consciousness. Finally, conclusions will emerge from the certainty that sustainability must transcend the traditional “Triple Bottom Line” scope to incorporate new ways of understanding the relationship of the organization with its internal/external actors and context.

 Martha_Saravia.jpgMartha Saravia-Pinilla 
Complex, interdependent sustainability issues and the potential role of human factors and ergonomics in the Persian Gulf
Maryam Tabibzadeh (California State University, Northridge) & Najmedin Meshkati (University of Southern California)
One of the most populous and environmentally-sensitive regions in the world, the Persian Gulf, is on the confluence of an exponentially growing number of two industries – nuclear power and seawater desalination plants – that is changing its landscape and seascape. Issues such as climate change have also negatively impacted the ecosystem of the Persian Gulf. Moreover, technological disasters have endangered the safety and sustainability of this region and its industries. It is noted that recent technological disasters with severe environmental impact are primarily attributed to lack of human factors and safety culture considerations. The aim of this study was to identify interdependencies of human and organizational sub-systems of multiple complex, safety-sensitive technological systems in the context of sustainability of the Persian Gulf ecosystem. Building upon Rasmussen’s models, macro-system integrative frameworks, based on the broader context of human factors engineering, are developed, which can be considered in this context as a “meta-ergonomics” paradigm, for the analysis, design and integration of the interoperability of major actors whose actions can affect safety and sustainability of the Persian Gulf during routine and non-routine (emergency) operations.

Tabibzadeh_Photo.jpgMaryam Tabibzadeh  

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The Role of Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) in Facilitating Sustainability - A Virtual Event
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