Category Archives: Engineering

Industrial ergonomics


Summarize and analyze the following information in the indicated NIOSH publication: Engineering and administrative improvements, Proactive action plan The three improvement options mentioned in the publication. The project must include, at minimum, the following components:

  1. Introduction
  2. Engineering and Administrative Improvements
  3. Proactive Action Plan
  4. Improvement Options

Sample paper

Industrial ergonomics

Given the importance of human asset in the workforce of any company, investors are putting more emphasis on improving the working conditions of their staffs. As a result, investors are emphasizing on industrial ergonometric which focuses on fitting, industrial tools, and equipment to fit into the employees’ skills and knowledge rather than trying to fit the employee into the tools and equipment.  In our case, the author successfully summarizes and analyzes the materials purchased by the company to increase its production and meet their customers’ demands and wants.  In additional, the articles attempt to elaborate and describe various techniques and ways that they can use to improve the way its employees can improve manual handling of materials in the organization to make sure that both individual workers and the organization can benefit from the materials. Some of the methods and options provided by the article are meant to improve the overall operations of the manual materials as well as reducing and simplifying workers’ tasks and responsibilities in the organization. It is also worth noting the contribution of the author in developing a four-phase plan that focuses on risk factors, how to improve ergonometric in a company and ways of effectively training employees to get the best out of them (Cheung, 2007). Notably, the author also takes the time to address techniques that can be utilized to minimize if not eliminate risks in an enterprise, how to increase efficiency, methods of minimizing costs of production, safety measures that can assist in reducing accidents and injuries in a workplace. Some part of the article addresses how a company can introduce more efficient systems. This assignment will attempt to provide a comprehensive analysis of engineering and administrative enhancements to the employee’s operation as provided in the article.

Engineering and Administrative Improvements

The attempts to fit the job in the form of machinery and equipment will have a direct effect on the demand for the labor in the organization.  Often, when a company focuses on the implementation of ergonometric, it will experience a reduction of a work task that will have a positive impact on the abilities and capabilities of its employees as the results are expected to improve. There exist different ways in which the management of an organization can improve specific tasks in an organization, and the management is expected to choose the best alternative for their company. However, it is worth noting that there is no one different approach that is best for the management to use to improve its ergonomic and importation of ergonomic strategy from another company can result in massive losses. On the same note, the different task may require a different ergonomic plan and strategy and thus, it is advisable for the management to analyze each task independently for the best solution so that it can make an informed decision before adopting a particular plan. The management should be careful to make a sound decision that will set up in the most efficient manner and produce the optimal outcome that will benefit both the company and the individual worker.

The ergonomic process is usually divided into two broad categories; the engineering improvements and administrative improvements. Often, the engineering improvements widely focus on restructuring, adjusting, redesigning as well as re-engineering all the processes and the tools utilized and employed to perform certain tasks in an organization (Cheung, 2007). The administrative improvements ensure that the tasks are performed in the most effective and efficient way possible as it attempts to improve the work process in the organization. Administrative improvements may take different forms such as improvement of the current work process, implementation of new work processes, rotation of employees from one department to another and job rescheduling in a case where tasks are overlapping to ensure that there is no confusion among the employees. Given that employees may get bored by constantly repeating complex tasks every single day, the administration should create a system that will enable rotation of works, especially those who performs extremely well to motivate others as well as spread that success across the organization. Notably administrative and engineering improvements can have minimal or no impacts on the employees if the workers are not trained appropriately to give them the necessary skills and knowledge to perfectly perform their roles and tasks.

Proactive Action Plan

For any innovations or improvement to take place, there is the need for the management to have a plan that can aid in solving the problems at hand.  The articles have explained in details for steps that the management should seek to implement to help them solve all the problems in the organization in regards to their industrial ergonomics. The first step focuses on the identification and examination of the problem affecting an enterprise. The management assesses the workplace to identify the problem and the need for improvements.  Through the review of employee complaints, review of the recommendation boxes, as well as compensation reports assists in; identify a burning issue among the employees that need immediate attention.  The second step involves the evaluation of the problem and its impacts on the employees concerning their job performance as well as motivation to carry out their roles effectively and efficiently. However, it is prudent and advisable fort the senior management to involve employees and other managers in coming up with the solutions to their problems to reduce resistance from the workforce as well as improving unity and cohesion between the labor force and the management. When workers are consulted before the implementation of a particular policy, they feel that they are part of the organization and appreciated for their contribution to the company (Cheung, 2007). The third step involves choosing the right alternative that can aid in solving the problem. The management should not be the only body that can come up with the solution, but rather all, the entire company should play a part in the formulation and implementation of the solution. Finally, the management has the duty to monitor and evaluate the success of the implemented solution to ensure that it performs the intended duty and if there is the need for any improvements.

Improvement Options

There exist a variety of improvement options that are open to a company that ranges from a simple option to a complex solution to a problem. However, improvement plan and option entirely depend on the nature of the problem at hand. A simple modification or implementation is techniques of lifting, lowering, filling or emptying containers manually. Lowering stress on the employees back and shoulders as well as minimizing the energy required executing this simple task of reaching and bending to left or empty containers is an easily recognized benefit. However, other tasks may be too complex and demanding to implement such a simple improvement plan. Simple stress-free ways are to improve grip, minimizing stress on the back and shoulders as well as decreasing the contact pressure on the shoulders. Implement a simple, non-powered then powered equipment rotation alternating manual handling of individual containers. Thus, having a better understanding of the problem at hand before the implementation of an improvement option increases the probability and the likelihood of implementing the right and appropriate improvement plan.


Judging from the solutions and, guidelines provided in the NIOSH publication, I feel that the article has not fully elaborated the improvement process and can be very risky for another organization to follow the guidelines to improve material handling in their organization. On the same note, given the nature of my industry a proactive plan can have more positive plans than reactive plan. Proactive plans help in identifying problems, set priorities, and making changes as well as follow-up activities.  Additionally, I support the improvement options considering that they make the tasks easy for the employee thus enhancing their results. Improvement plans help reduce the risk factors, increasing productivity, lowering costs by eliminating production holdups. They help reduce injuries and reducing workers’ efforts by decreasing employees handling materials.  However, it is worth noting that one improvement policy cannot work effectively without the other (Cheung, 2007). Thus, both the engineering improvement and the administrative improvement must work hand in hand for the organization to get the best out of their employees, reduce workplace injuries as well as enhancing the results of the company in general. Implementing simple controls can help reduce reaching and bending, lowering stress on the back and shoulders as well as reduction of the efforts and forces necessary to conduct their work tasks.


Cheung, Z. F. (2007). Ergonomic guidelines for manual material handling. (DHHS [NIOSH]                  Publication No. 2007-131).





Concept designs used.

The case study selected requires that at the end of the session students should have the capability to construct circuits by themselves under minimal supervision. To implement this, several concept design are to be utilized including inquiry skills, scientific reasoning, scientific literacy, and assessment methods. These methods are to be used as the trainer weighs out the best way that will ensure that students understand the topics substantially.

Inquiry skills

Inquiry skills give the students an opportunity to consult their fellow students such that at the end they can come up with a basic list of elements required to light a bulb.

Scientific reasoning

It involves brainstorming activities to ascertain the capability of the students to possess scientific thinking. In this case, their capability to accurately choose components for an electrical circuit is to be assessed.

Scientific literacy

The concept tests the capability of the students to explain electrical conductivity scientifically. How they can recollect and order their various knowledge to come up with a reasonable point.

Assessment methods

There are different evaluation methods that the instructor would apply to ascertain that at the end or in the process of the lesson to ensure that the students have appropriately understood the topic. These includes Classroom dialogue, Teacher observation, Student-devised materials drawings of circuit diagrams.


Tutor assessment of the students.

The activities to be carried out were categorized into four groups (A-D), and it is required that each assessment must focus on the capability of the students to correctly respond to these questions.

A Ability to build circuits
B Associated power supply
C A suitable waveform generator
D A means of measuring current, voltage and resistance

The students were assessed on the topics listed to ascertain their abilities to effectively perform every activity within the topic.

Assessment after brainstorming activity


Student Participation rate Prior knowledge Creativity Culture of discussion Mean score
1 4 3 4 1 3
2 2 3 3 4 3
3 0 0 0 0 0


The possible results for the three students indicate student 1 to be an active participant as well as student 2 while student 3 does not participate even a little. It is not evaluated negatively because in case of a class with a bigger number it is possible that during a short brainstorming period some student may not get the time to participate.

Assessment on Inquiry

Under inquiry, the specific capability assessed on the student is the ability to carry out a planning investigation. The student were then evaluated on the capacity to select the required items to construct an electric circuit. The ability to discuss with classmates on the necessary topics.

Assed skill Emerging Developing Consolidating extending
Selection of an adequate set of elements Students tries to select the elements but his/her list is not complete or inadequate and hence not able to complete the tsk even after the discussion with a peers. Student tries to select the set of elements, but his/her list is not complete or inadequate; he / she is able to complete the task only after discussing with the peers. The student is capable of completing the set of adequate elements, but during the discussion with a peer is not able to defend his choice. The student has the capability to complete the set of adequate elements, discuss his/her choice with the peers and can defend the choices of elements.


Assessment on building working electrical circuit.

The students to be assessed on their capability to make use of the elements chosen to create a working circuit.

Assessed skill Emerging Developing Consolidating Extending
Investigation of the conducting properties of the objects selected. The group of the students is not able to build a working electric circuit The students can come up with a few element connected well but not all The students are able to examine the objects and compare the results with the hypothesis. The students indicate creative skills, whereby incase the circuit does not resemble the hypothesis they inquire to note the sources of error.


Assesment of representation of electrical circuits

Under representation of the circuits the studnts are expetecd to show a neet drawing, well labelled to indicate how the working components are to be connected.


Assessed skill Emerging Developing Consolidating Extending
Drawing two working electric circuit with measuring equipment Students are able to draw 1-2 drawing which are either incorrect and cannot be read. The student can draw one correct drawing but the second drawing is incorrect The student can draw the two drawing correctly with minor errors. The student draws the two drawings correctly and accurately.


Students have the capability to consult their peers.

The objective tree

Brainstorming works since students do not have wish to take an examination


Inquiry seems to work perfectly for getting students to understand the how to create circuits. The students get to inquire from their peers and in the process student ensure that they correct where they go wrong and hence come up with a correct designs.

Example of a simple circuit

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Having good and working infrastructure is the dream of every urban resident. Having good and passable roads that make an area accessible and the presence of good drainage system makes life better and easier. However, the availability of water distribution is paramount to all urban lives. Having a proper and working water distribution network aids in improving the quality of life of the urban residents considering that it provides services to the high-density population in all urban centers. Slight or minimal disruptions in any of the urban center infrastructure especially water distribution can result in economic, social, political and environmental consequences (Marques 2014). To be in a position to maintain an ever working infrastructure network particularly the water distribution network, there is the need to develop a comprehensive infrastructure development and management needs lifecycle perspective.  Designing the infrastructure for a particular useful lifetime and maintaining them in a good atmosphere and state in their entire life service, is the secret of having a well functioning infrastructure network. An integrated lifecycle assessment (LCA) lifecycle cost (LCC) simulations will aid any urban authority in enhancing the sustainability of any infrastructure network including the concrete bridge infrastructures.

Article Summary

Considering that all areas and regions are not equal, there is the need to independently examine each area before embarking on any water distribution plans. Moreover, the lifecycle of water distribution is varied which may result in physical flunks that prevents the plans or rather the infrastructure from meeting the initial expectations. Some of the reasons for the physical failure include:  Variation in infrastructure’s physical condition and deterioration, variations in infrastructure operating conditions and inappropriate application of on-time maintenance and replacement activities. The author of this article has gone a step further in informing all the readers on the phases and the stages in each phase that are associated with the assessment of water distribution network (WDN)during its lifecycle. Moreover, these steps can be exploited to identify the optimal time of lifecycle extension activities application. Below are the proposed steps and phases:

Phase 1: Model development – Stage 1: data collection – at this stage the engineers and infrastructure planners collect data and information that is necessary to create and develop a water distribution network simulation and analysis (Higuchi 2008). Stage 2: Determining the network expected remaining life duration – at this stage there is the need to develop the network expected remaining life duration which is estimated regarding its design.  Stage 3: developing the hydraulic simulation model of the network – hydraulic simulation model helps in determining the WDN performance under different failure scenarios

Phase 2: WDN evaluation – Stage 4: Generating failure scenarios – the generation of failure scenarios helps in evaluation of the WDN failure conditions in regard to the random nature of the pipe breaks. Stage 5: analysis of the network performance under generated failure scenarios – EPANET 2.012 software is utilized in this analysis to determine the performance of the network. Stage 6: Evaluation of total network reliability in each time stage – this stage deals with the calculation and development of WDN performance desirability which is quantified using the reliability-based indicators

Phase 3: LCC assessment – Stage 7: calculation of total lifecycle revenue – the sole revenue of the urban WDN is from subscribers’ payments which are divided into the cost of consumed water and the subscription cost for each demand node (Marques 2014). Stage 8: lifecycle cost calculation – it involves the calculation of water distribution network lifecycle from an economic perspective.

Phase 4: Setting strategies – Stage 9: Network cost-revenue analysis – the obtained network revenues and costs in stages seven and eight are put to use at this stage to develop the cost-revenue trade-off graph to show the reliability aspect of the network. Stage 10: Decision masking – infrastructure managers and engineers make their decisions based on the cost-revenue graph, funding constraints, and the network reconstruction costs.

However, not all data may be available when making all these decisions and at times, planners and engineers are forced to work with an assumption as in the case provided in the article of the Chahardange water distribution network in central part of Iran.  The design life of this project is 25 years of which five years had already passed during the time of this study. Some of the important assumptions associated with water distribution network projects include: The rate of population growth rates in an area and the roughness coefficient of the pipes.


In conclusion, we can say the author succeeds in showing the importance of infrastructures to all urban residents especially water distribution network. With proper infrastructures an urban region stands a better chance of developing and witnessing an improvement in the living standards of the residents. Moreover, it is vital for planners and engineers to find a way to determine the optimal operation and maintenance periods of these networks in order to achieve highest efficiency and effectiveness.



Higuchi, S., and Macke, M. “”Cost-benefit analysis for the optimal rehabilitation of deteriorating structures.”.” 2008.

Marques, J., Cunha, M., and Savic, D. “”using real options in the optimal design of water distsribution networks.”.” J. Water Resour. Plann Manage.,, 2014.