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System Ergonomics - Essay Example

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Ergonomics, as a discipline, seeks to scientifically understand and improve the interaction of humans with products, equipment, environment and systems (HFES, 2010). Ergonomics is used to improve the performance of a system by developing a better understanding of the human…
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System Ergonomics

The goal in ergonomics is to identify aspects of the job that are hazardous and to redesign these aspects so that they are safer (Owen, 2000). This paper examines how ergonomics can be used to train workers to cope with a disastrous situation.
Hillsborough disaster occurred on April 15, 1989, at Hillsborough football stadium in Sheffield, England. It has been the worst-ever sporting disaster, resulting in 96 deaths and 766 injuries during the FA Cup semi-final between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool (BBC News, 1989). The Hillsborough stadium was segregated between the opposing fans, with the Liverpool fans being assigned to the Leppings Lane End of the stadium with the capacity of 14,600 people, while the Forest fans were given the Spion End of the ground which held 21,000 (Mirron Football, 2010). Half an hour before the kickoff, the crowd started getting bigger outside the Leppings Lane because the turnstiles were not able to let enough fans in fast enough to ease the pressure (BBC News, 1989).
The match was scheduled for 3.00 pm but by that time, more than 5000 fans were still outside the stadium. As the match began, orders were given to open the gates to stand, which did not have turnstiles, to ease the pressure of fans outside the ground to avoid deaths there (BBC News, 1989). This caused a rush of fans through the gate into the stadium, pushing the ones who were already there forward and crushing them against the high, wired-topped safety fences. The people who were entering were unaware of the pressure they were causing at the fences and there were no police or stewards standing at the entrance to direct these fans. An estimated 2,000 fans entered the ground through the exit gate and a large number of them went down the tunnel which led straight in to pens 3 and 4, in the centre of the terrace (Wade, 2010). Since there were no policemen or stewards present at the terrace, no one was able to direct the crowd to the side and the pressure started building up ... Read More
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