1. Observe your work environment for a period of one to three days. Take note of particular habits of employees relating to ergonomic issues (i.e. posture at workstations, lifting techniques, patterns of movements, biomechanical factors). Refer to page 333 of the textbook and develop a hypothesis around your observations. Describe how you would go about testing that hypothesis, and how you would ultimately implement a training program, behavior modification, or design change to the environment, equipment, or process to positively affect what you observed.
Special Note: In conducting your observations it is important that you observe only your work environment. There should be no effort made to intervene or to experiment due to federal guidelines related to research performed on human subjects.
2. In the textbook, review Tables 8-8 (p. 399) and 11-8 (p. 557). Choose one or more examples from each, or both, tables. Compare and analyze the key ergonomic principles involved with the movements, activities or techniques. Explain why you think injuries associated with these disorders, activities, or techniques continue to be observed, and offer your opinions on how you would structure an ergonomic program to effect a positive, measurable change to the chosen example situations.
3. If there is an ergonomic topic of particular interest to you that you feel would be appropriate for a research paper project, then you may discuss the topic with your course professor. Carefully outline the topic, scope, content, and resource materials you intend to use before you contact the professor for approval of the topic.
4. The CSU Online Library is an excellent source for material. The following peer-reviewed journals are good sources:
Journal of Occupational Medicine
Environmental & Occupational Health
International Journal of Cognitive Ergonomics
Submit your selected topic and summary outline to your professor via e-mail before you begin writing your Research Paper. Generally, your outline should include the following major sections, which correspond to level 1 headings per APA publications guidelines:
1. Introduction–Briefly describe issue and state the purpose for the paper.
2. Background–Review relevant literature on the subject. This is a good section to satisfy the requirement for at least five primary sources. Be sure to use APA formatted in-text citations to identify sources for information. Note that in-text citations are required even if the information has been reworded.
3. Methods–State how you will address the issue. For example, you could perform a literature of review of related research literature, conduct interviews, and/or perform observations. If you use a tool such as a standardized checklist you should provide information from the research literature on the tool’s reliability and validity.
4. Results–Present the findings from implementation of your selected methods. The inclusion of tables, figures, and/or pictures in addition to describing the results in the text adds much to the paper’s readability.
5. Conclusions–Present your conclusions and recommendations. In general your own opinions should only be included in this section.
6. References–Must be in APA format
As stated above the Roman Numeral headings in the example outline above are level 1 headings. The next level (A, B, C, etc.) within your outline would be level 2 headings per APA and so forth. Research paper title page and reference page are not included in the required paper length. Your paper must contain at least five references, and may include Internet sources, books, and professional journals or resources related to the profession.