News » ESSA spreading the ergonomics word
4 January - 4 April 2012

The ESSA committee has worked hard over the last couple of years to try and establish a better understanding of ergonomics within the various groups of stakeholders within South African industry and we appear to be making inroads. 2012 is turning out to be a very busy year for the society, and below are just some of the highlights in terms of the conferences/workshops the society has or is attending this year to spread the word about the impact that sound ergonomics principles can have on both injury rates and produvtivity.

The department of labour international conference on Occupational Health and Safety -  A road to zero injuries and diseases:

The ESSA chairman spoke to about 400 delegates at this conference, highlighting the need for further establishing ergonomics within South Africa industry and the unique challenges that are facing us in this country. If you are interested in learning more about this, please read the latest ESSA newsletter which you can find here.

National Institute of Occupational Health conference:

During May the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) is running a conference in Johannesburg that ESSA will be attending and talking about the systems approach used in ergonomics to ensure compatability between the task and human operator. Furthermore we will also be discussing ways in which ESSA and NIOH can forge a closer working relationship. For further information about NIOH please visit their website at:

South African Institute of Occupational Hygeine Conference:

In June the South African Institute of Occupational Hygeine (SAIOH) are hosting their annual conference during which there will be a two hour session dedicated to ergonomics. The important aspect of this is a disscussion on what role can and should the occupational hygeinist play when in comes to ergonomics. Once again ESSA and SAIOH are working to establish a symbiotic relationship to ensure that South African industry is moving in the right direction in terms of occupational health and safety. Pat Scott, an past ESSA chairperson always used to talk about developing an ergonomics facilitation team that can hopefully develop a collaborative co-responsibility. Hopefully with these intiatives we are on this pathway.

Department of labour workshops:

During Ausust and October the department of labour and ESSA will be running workshops for the department of labour inspectors and for the various stakeholders on ergonomics. It is exciting to see that the government is starting to take ergonomics seriously and are making a concerted effort to assist in the future development of the discipline within South Africa. We will keep you posted with further developments.


It is apparent from all of the above that we are definitely making in roads into further developing a greater understanding of ergonomics within South Africa. These improvements are being made not only at a cognate society level (such as SAIOH) but also at a governmental and stakeholder level.