n Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa - Architects and architectural technologists : their influence on construction ergonomics




Relative to other industries in South Africa and construction industries worldwide, the construction process generates a disproportionate number of fatalities, injuries. Further, the industry is associated with disease, the direct and indirect cost of which contributes to the cumulative cost of construction. Designers influence construction ergonomics directly and indirectly. The direct influence is as a result of design, details and method of fixing, and depending upon the type of procurement system, supervisory and administrative interventions. The indirect influence is as a result of the type of procurement system used, pre-qualification, project time, partnering and the facilitating of pre-planning. The purpose of the paper was to present the results of studies conducted among architectural practices and architectural technologists in South Africa to determine their perceptions and practices relative to construction ergonomics. The following constitute the salient findings: Cost, quality, and time are more important to architectural practices and architectural technologists than construction ergonomics and project health and safety (H&S). Ergonomics during the use phase is more important to architectural practices and architectural technologists than the other phases. A range of design related aspects impact on construction ergonomics. Construction ergonomics is considered / referred to more by architectural practices than architectural technologists relative to most design, procurement and construction occasions and relative to most design related aspects. Experience predominates in terms of the means by which ergonomics knowledge was acquired. A range of aspects have the potential to contribute to an improvement in knowledge and the application of construction ergonomics. The paper concludes that architects and architectural technologists contribute to construction ergonomics, but there is potential for, and a clear need for, enhanced contributions. Recommendations include the inclusion of construction ergonomics in architectural and architectural technologist tertiary education and continuing professional development (CPD).


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