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n Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa - Mass and density of construction materials : designers' knowledge, perceptions, and practices
Many construction injuries are musculoskeletal related in the form of sprains and strains arising from the handling of materials, which are specified by designers, which in turn constitutes the direct influence of designers on construction ergonomics.
The paper presents the results of a study conducted among delegates attending two 'designing for H&S' (DfH&S) seminars, the objectives of which were to determine their level of knowledge, perceptions, and practices relative to the mass and density of materials. The study was conducted using a survey questionnaire circulated to what effectively constituted captive convenience sample strata.
The following constitute the salient findings: the level of knowledge relative to the mass and density of materials is limited; designers generally do not consider the mass and density of materials when designing structures and elements and specifying materials; to a degree designers do appreciate that the mass and density of materials impacts on construction ergonomics; designers rate their knowledge of the mass and density of materials as limited as opposed to extensive, and designers appreciate the potential of the consideration of the mass and density of materials to contribute to an improvement in construction ergonomics.
Conclusions include: designers lack the requisite knowledge relative to the mass and density of materials; designers are thus precluded from conducting optimum design hazard identification and risk assessments, and tertiary built environment designer education does not enlighten designers relative to construction ergonomics.
Recommendations include: tertiary built environment designer education should construction ergonomics; professional associations should raise the level of awareness relative to construction ergonomics, and design practices should include a category 'mass and density of materials' in their practice libraries.
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