HFEM-SOSCO Program (3) 2017

Ergonomics for Safety and Health Practitioners is a third program organized by HFEM and supported by SOCSO. This program has been successfully held at PERODUA Learning Centre, Rawang, Selangor on June 6, 2017 (Tuesday).

Ergonomics awareness has a substantial impact on the industry, organization, management, employees and overall well-being of the system [1], [2]. The awareness of ergonomics is crucial to safety and health practitioners because it helps in ergonomics application and significantly contributes to human well-being and safety [3] and to ensure the implementation of ergonomics [4]. The effective implementation of ergonomics requires a great cooperation and active involvement of OSH practitioners and the OSH Committee in the workplace. Determining ergonomics risk factors at workplace should be taken as a priority because the effect of poor ergonomics practice takes time to occur and may appear after the retirement [5]. Furthermore, this program also highlighted on the importance of avoiding or reducing musculoskeletal injuries and exposing the participants on the method to implement the ergonomics control. Apart from that, participants gained some new inputs on proactive prevention strategies such as office stretching, back strengthening exercises and simple balloon exercises.

[1] Gungor C (2009) A human factors and ergonomics awareness survey of professional personnel in the American furniture industry, Msc. Thesis, Mississippi State University, US.
[2] Sundstrom, L. (2000) “Better Work Environment for Small Companies in Sweden,” in Proceeding of The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting B6, pp 175-177.
[3] Kroemer, K.H.E. and Grandjean, E. (1997) Fitting The Task to The Human : A Textbook of Occupational Ergonomics.5th Edition. London, Taylor and Francis.
[4] Rozlina, M. S.,  Awaluddin, M.S.,  Hamid, S. H. S. A., and Norhayati, Z. (2013) “Exploratory Analysis of Ergonomics Importance at Workplace and Safety Culture Amongst Occupational Safety and Health Practitioners” in G.-C. Yang et al. (eds.), IAENG Transactions on Engineering Technologies, Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering 229, DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-6190-2_8.
[5] Cooper,M.D., Philips, R. A. (2004) Exploratory analysis of the safety climate and safety behaviour relationship. J Saf Res 35:497–512.


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How User Experience Design Changed Business for 4 Organizations

Good web design is about more than portraying a brand, marketing, or good impressions. When design is centered around helping your customer meet their needs and reducing confusion & frustration, using a deep understanding of technology users’ psychology (a field called User Experience or UX), it can make a difference to your bottom line to the tune of millions of dollars. This is how employing UX methods helped four different organizations.

                Expedia ($12 million dollars in increased revenue in 1 year). Expedia, a travel booking website, found that they were losing millions due to visitors abandoning transactions during the checkout process – at a point where the visitors were already convinced to spend their money. Analytics of the failed transactions showed a pattern – these particular visitors appeared confused with one single field on the ‘address’ form, which asked for the visitor’s “Company”. Since this prompt came during the payment process, they entered their bank’s name instead, and then filled the rest of the address form with the bank’s address instead of their own. The website’s automated payment software would then reject the transaction because the address did not match the billing address on their credit card. These visitors abandoned Expedia, likely buying their tickets elsewhere. Just removing the text field for “Company” saw an immediate increase in revenue of $12 million over the next year.

                The $300 million dollar button. Founder of User Interface Engineering, Jared M. Spool, describes a case study where his team was asked to improve the design of an e-commerce website. This online retailer was experiencing a common e-commerce phenomenon called shopping cart abandonment; visitors abandon the transaction after already adding items to their shopping cart. Usability tests, including web analytics of visitor behaviour, and in-person observations of shoppers, showed that the problem lay with a single button during the checkout process. After clicking on Checkout, they were given two options: Register or Login – the website required visitors to have an account in order to complete the purchase. First-time visitors were very resistant to creating an account, expressing that they did not want to “have a relationship” with the online retailer. Even when they were not first-time visitors, they often could not remember their password and username combination, thus necessitating creating a new account. Even having a ‘retrieve password’ option did not help – over 150,000 visitors requested a password retrieval every single day, and only 25% of those completed the transaction. The redesign team performed a simple change – remove the Register button, and allow visitors to Checkout and complete the transaction without requiring registration. This lead to a $15 million increase in the very first month, and $300 million in the first year after the change.

                thetrainline.com ($2.8 million per year in increased sales). UK rail ticketing & journey planning website thetrainline.com receives 20 million visits every month, and its mobile app is the #1 travel app in the UK. Still, the company analyzed user behaviour on the site to see where improvements could be made. One of the design changes highlighted to visitors when availability for a certain train or ticket type was running low, and prompted visitors to buy the tickets before they were sold out. This change led to a 4.5% increase in conversion (sale) rates, translating into $2.8 million increase in revenue. Additionally, like the online retailer above, analysis of the user journey through the transaction showed a sharp 30% drop-off in conversions during the checkout process. Removing the requirement to register or login led to another $1.4 million increase in gross profit per year.

                Mozilla Firefox (70% decrease in support requests). Mozilla, creator of the Firefox browser, was fielding up to 11,000 support requests a month with less than 45% of the requests being addressed within 24 hours. One major reason for the high number of support requests was that users simply found it very difficult to find information in the extensive FAQ and support sections of the website. UX professionals at the Nielsen Norman Group conducted deep analysis of site visitor’s behaviours on the site, their pain points and most-desired information, and reconstructed the landing page and internal structure (called information architecture) of the support section. Rapid testing using paper prototypes of the redesigns meant that they could test up to 7 new designs over just 2 weeks, which saved not just on time but expenditure on functional, coded, actual websites. Over the 3-month period of the UX redesign effort, the number of support requests dropped to only about 2,000 support requests a month (because people could actually find the information they were looking for), and 90% of all support requests were being answered within 24 hours.

What helped each of these organizations was a dedication to understanding user behaviour and needs. This is done through the use of both quantitative UX methods (e.g., web analytics) as well as qualitative UX methods (e.g., usability testing, observation, interviews). Today, UX efforts are a huge part of how tech giants like Google and Microsoft design to capture the consumers’ hearts (and wallets). Yet, despite the demonstrable benefits of UX, many UX practitioners say that a lot of their time is spent advocating even for the need for UX efforts, especially early in the planning and design process when change is cheapest and fastest. In the end, user satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) can make a big impact on your business, and UX has time and time again shown that it is worth the investment.

Dr. Cameron Teoh
HELP University


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ACED Ergonomic Design Awards 2017

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On June 3, 2017, the Motorcycle Engineering Technology Laboratory (METAL) under the Ergonomics & Workstation Assessment Research Interest Group, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam was awarded “Best of Best” award for their product entitled ‘Postura MotergoTM: A Full Scale Ergonomics Motorcycle Simulator’ by the Asian Council on Ergonomics & Design (ACED) during the 1st ACED Ergonomic Design Awards 2017 in Japan. This event was organized in conjunction with the 2nd Asian Conference on Ergonomics & Design 2017 and the 58th Conference of Japan Ergonomics Society that was held at the College of Industrial Technology, Nihon University, Chiba, Japan from 1-4 June 2017. A trophy and a certificate of recognition were given to all award recipients by Professor Dr. Kentaro Kotani, President of the Asian Council on Ergonomics & Design (ACED) and Chairman of the 2nd Asian Conference on Ergonomics & Design 2017, which was accompanied by Professor Dr. Myung Hwan Yun, Chairman of the 1st ACED Ergonomic Design Awards 2017. 

The award ceremony took place during the 2nd Asian Conference on Ergonomics & Design 2017 banquet’s dinner and saw other three award recipients that are two from Korea and one from China. Also attending the ceremony was the President of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA), Dr. Yushi Fujita, Secretary and representative from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Malaysia (HFEM), Mr. Khairul Nazri Abd Wahib and Dr. Ng Yee Guan, and also representatives from other Asian ergonomics societies. 

The METAL’s simulator is part of two PhD candidates’ research project at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering with one of them is a current senior lecturer at the faculty; Mr. Helmi Bin Rashid and a full-time PhD candidate; Mr. Wan Muhammad Syahmi Bin Wan Fauzi. The project is currently supervised by YBhg. Professor Ir. Dr. Hj. Abdul Rahman Bin Omar, J.S.M and co-supervised by Dr. Sukarnur Bin Che Abdullah and Dr. Alias Bin Mohd Saman. The simulator holds two patent pending intellectual properties (IPs) and had received several intentions from local and international parties mainly from Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL) that have shown interest to rent the facility besides to collaborate for future research. This is the first international recognition received by METAL for the simulator facility after receiving previous awards of Gold and Bronze medals during previous IIDEX competitions organized by RIBU, UiTM in 2014 and 2016 respectively. 

The project is funded by several research grants from the Ministry of Higher Learning Malaysia, FRGS (600-RMI/FRGS 5/3 (76/2014)) and Institute of Research Management & Innovation (IRMI), UiTM, CIFI (600-RMI/DANA 5/3/CIFI (5/2013)), LESTARI (600-IRMI/MYRA 5/3/LESTARI (002/2017) & 600- IRMI/MYRA 5/3/LESTARI (0066/2016) and REI (600-IRMI/DANA 5/3/REI (4/2015)).

Credits also go to other METAL Team Members, Assistant Engineers and Industrial Collaborators that
worked together towards this achievement as follows:

1. METAL Team Member, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, UiTM:
 Associate Professor Ismail Nasiruddin Bin Ahmad
 Associate Professor Roseleena Binte Jaafar
 Dr. Zulkifli Bin Mohamed
 Pn. Nursalbiah Binti Nasir

2. METAL Team Member, Faculty of Computer & Mathematical Sciences, UiTM:
 Associate Professor Dr. Hjh. Zamalia Binti Mahmud

3. METAL Team Member, Malaysian Academy of SME & Entrepreneurship Development
 Hj. Shamsury Bin Ab Karim

4. METAL Team Member, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Cyberjaya University College of Medical
Sciences (CUCMS):
 Associate Professor Dr. Hjh. Rohani Binti Haron
5. METAL Team Member, Undergraduate Students:
 Usman Bin Mohd Taib
 Muhammad Arif Bin Sabri

6. METAL Team Member, Graduated Students:
 Muhammad Hafizudin Bin Kamal
 Muhammad Firdaus Bin Azhar
 Mohd Afham Bin Azmi
 Muhammad Adzri Bin Adzman
 Mohamad Hafidz Bin Hamzah
 Shahrool Azree Bin Azlan
 Muhamad Syamim Bin Zainordin
 Mohd Saiful Arif Bin Bakeri

7. Assistant Engineers, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, UiTM:
 Machine Workshop, Level 2
 Welding Workshop, Level 2
 Ergonomic Laboratory
 CADEM Center

8. Industrial Collaborators:
 Summit Features Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia
 Timur Automation Engineering Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia
 Aman Semesta Enterprise, Malaysia
 IASystems, United Kingdom
With this achievement, it is hoped that METAL will continuously expand and pioneer Motorcycle
Ergonomics research towards a safer and better nation in the future.

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2nd Asian Conference on Ergonomics and Design 2017

The 2nd Asian Conference on Ergonomics and Design 2017 (ACED2017) presented an ideal opportunity for encouraging scholarly exchange and dissemination of multi- and interdisciplinary sciences of ergonomics and practical application in Asia. Attended by researchers, education scientists, technologists and industry representatives who are experts in this science, this forum became a platform for strategic think tank to enhance a constructive dialogue and collaboration on themes relevant to ergonomics and to present latest research results and application in all areas of ergonomics.

The conference was organized by Japan Ergonomics Society and sponsored by Tateisi Science and Technology Foundation and Chiba Convention Bureau and International Center (CCB-IC). There were about 100 participants and 9 invited speakers coming from 17 countries with some represented by respective societies in ergonomics to participate in keynote, oral and poster sessions of respective themes in ACED, JES and IEA Organized Sessions. Concurrently, the ACED Ergonomics Design Awards in 2017 was also presented to the winners. Malaysia was represented by HFEM, UiTM, MIMOS Berhad, UMP and UPM with total 7 presentations in various technical sessions.

Mr Khairul Nazri bin Abd Wahib from MIMOS Berhad presenting a technical paper titled “Human Factors and Ergonomics Considerations for a Glucose Sensor Device”

There were 2 sessions of IEA Council Meeting held on the 2nd and 3rd day of the conference. Among the discussed matters were:

  • Brief introduction of each societies and its challenges.
  • Supports from federated societies to non-federated associations like SEANES.
  • The need to have joint research projects among Asian countries.
  • Contribution of seed fund to host a conference as well as legal and finance entity to be responsible for the finance.
  • To obtain assistance from IEA for the advancement and improvement of ergonomics societies in Asian countries.
Prof. Kentaro Kotani (ACED Organizing Chair) chairing an IEA Council Meeting

In one of the ACED Organized Symposium: Ergonomics Education; Prof. Andrew Todd talked about why HFE is under exploited. Among the identified reasons are:

  • People are not aware the value HFE can add (no demand)
  • When there is demand, there are not enough high quality HFE practitioners?
  • HFE is small in comparison with established disciplines ( e.g engineering and psychology)
  • Multi-disciplinary nature of HFE with diverse topics and views makes communication with the external world very challenging?

He emphasized that providing high quality HFE professionals who can advocate for themselves through demonstration of financial benefits is key to creating the demand. He also highlighted that education is the cornerstone of HFE development strategy.

Dr. Yushi Fujita (President of IEA) addressing some issues during the meeting. Seen in the picture are Prof. Jose Orlando Gomez (VP of IEA) and Prof. Andrew Todd (IEA International Development Committee Chair)
IEA Executive Committee and attending representatives from federated HFE societies
Prof. Andrew Todd during the Ergonomics Education Symposium

On the last day, Dr. Ng Yee Guan represented HFEM in an ACED/JES Joint Symposium, where he made a presentation on “The Challenges in Establishing the Professional Ergonomist Certification Scheme in Malaysia”.

Dr. Ng also participated in another three oral presentations on behalf of UPM.

The conference was concluded with a banquet dinner and an ACED2017 Design Award Session.  ACED 2017 provided an excellent opportunity to gather together, interact and exchange findings and views during conference sessions, coffee breaks and conference dinner. It was also an opportunity to network with a number of academics and professionals from different countries who have similar research interests such as service design, product design, occupational safety and health.

Prof. Takashi Toriizuka, Chair of the JES Conference giving a speech during the dinner.

Congratulations to UiTM’s Motorcycle Engineering Technology Laboratory (METAL) under the Ergonomics & Workstation Assessment Research Interest Group, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam for being awarded “Best of Best” Award for their product entitled ‘Postura MotergoTM.

Team from UiTM with Professor Dr. Myung Hwan Yun, Chairman of the ACED2017 Ergonomic Design Awards

HFEM hopes the conference will inspire other HFE communities in Asia to be more active in promoting HFE in their respective countries as well as at the international stage, especially in Asia.


Safety of Children in Vehicles on Malaysian Road

This article highlights current safety concerns for children whilst going in vehicles on Malaysian roads and the steps undertaken to address the need to enhance children’s safety whilst going in these vehicles and suggest possible remedial action to counter the possible lack of awareness for children’s safety whilst in these vehicles. This article focuses on children on motorcycles and private vehicles (cars, vans and multi-purpose vehicle (MPV)) and excludes other form of transport (buses, lorries) as this paper tries to put forth measures that can be undertaken by the children’s parents and guardian to better enhance the safety of their children.

Experts worldwide have said that child injuries are becoming a major public health issue that requires immediate attention. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in the developing and developed countries, traffic accidents involving children has become a serious epidemic problem. Road traffic accidents are now becoming more common with the advent of more vehicles on the roads. Like many other developing nations, Malaysia which has a fast-growing economy which makes private vehicles affordable for the majority of its people. As a result of these vehicles being on the road, Malaysia has a high rate of accidents for motor vehicles where these accidents are a common cause of disability and deaths. In an event of an accident, unrestrained children are more likely to be fatally injured compared to children who are correctly using appropriate child restraints. 

In certain Asian nations, children on motorcycles account for all child road traffic fatalities where motorcycle accidents are the main cause of fatality among teenagers. Accidents are in fact the manifestation of choices made by the parents, surrounding family, adults in charge and society at large which in turn determines the risk of injuries exposure of the children. Between 1999 to 2002, road traffic accidents are the main reason for more than half of the accidental injury instances admitted to Government hospitals in Malaysia. Male children and teenagers (ages 12 to 19) form the highest proportion of fatalities.

Children do not show the same signs or patterns of injuries to an adult due to the developing anatomical and physiological feature. Children with developing bodies have elastic type bodies where quick deceleration and acceleration of energy will be transferred causing internal energies without exhibition significant external signs. When a child is involved or injured in a road traffic accident, the child could end up mentally impaired with post-traumatic disorder. A child could also end up with profound psychological effects if the child ends up orphaned due to the accident. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), child injuries and fatalities in road traffic accidents is becoming a major problem in the world. Malaysian accident data have shown a consistent pattern of motorcycle fatalities in children from the ages of 1 to 18 years. For the age group of 1 to 6 and 7 to 12 years, 88% fatality that occurred were the pillion riders.  Previous studies have shown that during road traffic accidents, compared to female children, there are twice the number of male children fatalities. The majority of these fatalities in childhood traffic injuries are attributable to trauma to the head and hence head injuries are important areas of research to look for ways to further protect the vulnerable heads of these children.

Motorcycles are a less safe mode of transport compared to other types of vehicles. Compared to every vehicle mile traveled motorcycle riders and their pillions have a higher chance of 34 times of dying in an accident compared to people in other different categories of vehicles. Motorcyclists are also eight times more likely to get injured. These high risks were associated with lack of protection afforded by motorcycles, the younger age of riders and poor visibility afforded by motorcycles and vehicles of the other road users. There are a lot of risk factors connected to childhood accidents. The risks are ecological factors, biological and psycho-social. These factors often work together which increases the risk of the accidents happens.

A very cost effective public health strategy is injury prevention. The prevention of injuries has been recognised as an important constituent in the approach of trauma in developed countries. The injuries preventable mechanisms in place are almost similar between the developing and developed countries. For motorcyclists, helmets are most important form of protection currently available as correct helmet usage reduces the incidence and severity of head injuries among motorcycle riders and pillion compared to non-helmeted riders. The helmet legislation and laws were formalised in order to prevent head injuries and the resultant death of motorcyclists. The resulting increased usage of helmets has managed to lessen the possibility of death, head injuries and the resulting medical cost. Other than head injuries, non-usage of helmet could also result in facial injuries and high-severity facial fractures. Other than the usage of helmets, protective clothing, protective boots, crash bars could also provide additional protection to motorcycle riders. 

On higher end and more expensive motorcycles, motorcycle airbags, back and leg protectors are also available. Protective clothing can reduce the risk of soft tissue injuries. Boots can provide protection against foot and ankle injuries. Crash bars protect the lower legs from side impacts.

While riding pillion on motorcycles, children can be susceptible to is exhaust system contact burns injuries. This is another area where there is a lack of data in Malaysia. Even though these burns only could be small, they were usually severe and possibly require surgery. Children with exhaust systems contact burns could be associated with considerable morbidity. Young children are in the high-risk group for exhaust burns due to their thinner skin which will burn more deeply at lower temperatures. Children are disproportionately affected by exhaust burns due to their small size, exposed limbs and thin dermis predispose them to these sort of injuries.

In order to reduce or prevent childhood morbidity and mortality road traffic accidents, child restraint systems were designed with the sole purpose of protecting and preventing and reducing childhood morbidity and mortality in traffic accidents.  and implemented in many countries. Different nations have different legislation mandating the usage of child restraint systems. There are many child restraint systems in the market currently. Among them are baby restraints (baby capsules) for new babies, car seat restraints for slightly older babies and kindergarten children, booster seat for preschool and early school going children and child safety harnesses. 

In other countries, legislations are in place mandating the use of child restraint systems. For instance, 90% of children below 5 years old in New Zealand currently use child restraint systems. It has been proven time and again that the children below 10 years old, will have to be restrained in an approved child restraints as the adult seatbelt will not be able to provide adequate protection and these adult seat belts could even inflict injuries on to the child if it is not properly aligned. Previous studies have shown the effectiveness of child restraintsbeing quite impressive. A study conducted in the USA for children restrained in a child seat compared to children using adult seat belts found when that there was a 60% reduction of risk of injury and 70% reduction in risk of head injury. The overall finding was that when the children were correctly restrained in the back/rear seat, the injuries sustained by the children were minor in nature.  Currently in Malaysia, there are no laws mandating the use of child safety seat. Child safety seat have been proven time and again as an effective tool in lowering the morbidity and mortality of child motor vehicle users. When used correctly, child safety seats have been shown to reduce the risk of death of children aged between 2 to 6 years by 28%. In order to prevent road traffic deaths among cars drivers and motorcyclists, seats belts and helmets had a profound effect in reducing the fatalities. The seat belt laws in Malaysia has been in place since the 1970s. The current seat belt rules requires the seat belt to be used by all the occupants of the vehicle.

Another solution could be the legislation of new laws. Legislation can help in ensuring that responsibilities are assigned for the safety of children on the road.  Enforcement of the law and legislation is very important as various countries have shown that correct implementation of the law not only reduces the number of fatalities and injuries from head trauma but it also increases the usage of motorcycle helmets. Parents, supervising adults, vehicle manufacturers, vehicle owners and even the government can be liable for the safety of children in vehicles where the well-being of children should be the utmost importance to ensure they are always safe on the roads. Another possible solution is to ensure that all motorcycle riders are properly licensed to ride the correct levels of motorcycle. Studies have shown that correctly and properly licensed motorcyclists tend to less likely involved in accidents compared to unlicensed motorcyclists. Similarly, previous studies have shown that effective rider education for reducing crashes and accidents have helped trained riders in having fewer and less severe crashes.

There have been a number of other measures undertaken to enhance the safety of children on the road. Public education on the need to ensure the safety of children in vehicles can be helpful in the short term as it is a relatively cheap measure to reach a large number of people in a short space of time. Among the measures that can be undertaken are advertisements in the newspaper, television, and radio and on social websites that a frequented by people. However, it be difficult the gauge the effectiveness of the adverts as there will be little opportunity for follow-up to see the effectiveness.

It is not the sole responsibility of teachers or parents to ensure the prevention of injuries in children. Interventions have to be started from the highest level of the policy makers and have to be translated all the way

to the private and civil sector. The joint UNICEF-WHO ‘World Report on Child Injury Prevention’ report recommends a wide range approach in tackling child injury prevention.

The report among other things recommends that governments are responsible for enacting and implementing multipronged strategies for child injury prevention. Most importantly though, the joint report also recommends product modification to better enable child safety and injury prevention. The United Nations declared the 2011–2020 decade as the ‘Decade of Action for Road Safety’ where the goal of the decade is to stabilise and then reduce global road fatalities by increasing national, regional and global activities. The steps being undertaken by various government agencies together with the new inventions and interventions for child road vehicle users in Malaysia can help achieve this United Nations vision.

Accidental injuries are the number one cause of disability and death among children. Motorcycle riders and vehicle drivers are influential in ensuring the safety of children in vehicles. In the Malaysian context, mandatory laws and educational programs addressing the proper and correct usage of child safety restraints could strongly influence its utilization by the drivers in Malaysia. Any legislation efforts or awareness should be thoroughly evaluated to make sure that they most effective in achieving the desired outcomes.

There is a pressing need to educate parents and adults on the urgent undertaking of child safety whilst going in vehicles on Malaysian roads. Children should be taught continuously from a young age on safety and the perils going in cars and whilst riding motorcycles as pillion. There is a pressing need to educate parents and adults alike on the urgent undertaking of child safety whilst in vehicles. A possible review of the Malaysian law pertaining suitability of children riding pillion with a set age limit of should be carried out for the benefit of this vulnerable group.  Another review should be undertaken with a view of mandating the use of child seats whilst ensuring the child seats are affordable to the masses. 

The usage of child safety systems can be potential tool for mitigating the ever increasing number of child road traffic accidents with the appropriate support utilising educational, research and legislative efforts. There is an urgent need to better protect our children while they are travelling in vehicles (motorcycles and cars included) on roads in Malaysia. Engineering countermeasures should be implemented to create a safer and more ‘crashworthy’ travel environment for child pillion riders. The creation and introduction of the correct type of protection systems, regulations and standards will go a long way towards realizing the vision for a safer traveling environment for the children in Malaysia. 

For motorcycles, a device capable of providing some sort of protection to the child whilst riding pillion should be designed and developed.  For vehicles, a possible enhancement to the existing car child restraint seat could be made to ensure that it is affordable for the masses while still providing the same sort of protection as a regular child restraint seat.  The safety of children in vehicles on Malaysian roads need to be urgently looked into and improved upon.

S. Sivasankar; K. Karmegam; M. T. Shamsul Bahri
Department of Environmental & Occupational Health
Faculty of Medicine and Health Science
43400 Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM),
Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.

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HFEM-SOCSO Program (2) 2017

Introduction to Office Ergonomics

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) among office workers are receiving higher attention. Computer and office-based work is a growing occupation that is associated with an increase in WMSDs of the upper extremities and neck, and accounts for 30% of the total injury cases in 2005 (annual incidence rate 68.8 cases per 10,000 full time workers)1. Conducting ergonomics training does not only improve ergonomics knowledge but also lower the musculoskeletal risk2. Therefore a second awareness program to understand, identify risk factors and type of injury, and element of stress factors related to office environment has been successfully conducted on 25th April 2017 at CIESH Excellent Academy, Seri Kembangan, Selangor.

This is a second program organized by HFEM and supported by SOCSO for this year. We received a great participation from various fields such as design engineering, medical, safety and health, education and manufacturing industries. We would like to take this opportunity to extend our warmest thanks to all participants in this program.

1Robertson, M. M., Ciriello, V. M. and Garabet, A. M. (2013) Office ergonomics training and a sit-stand workstation: Effects on musculoskeletal and visual symptoms and performance of office workers. Applied Ergonomics, 44,73-85.


2Robertsona, M.,[1]Amick III, B. C., DeRangoc,K., Rooneyd, T., Bazzanid, L., Harriste,R., and Mooref A. (2009) The effects of an office ergonomics training and chair intervention on worker knowledge, behavior and musculoskeletal risk. . Applied Ergonomics, 40, 124-135.

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Guidelines on Ergonomics Risk Assessment at Workplace 2017

Launching of the ergonomics risk assessment at the workplace: a collaboration between HFEM and Department of Occupational Safety and health (DOSH)

The long awaiting ergonomics risk assessment at the workplace guideline 2017 had been official launched by the Department of Occupational safety and health (DOSH). The Guideline had been extensively developed since 2015 with the collaboration of between members of HFEM and DOSH.  The project which started in 2015 comprised of members from various industrial background namely in the field of safety and health. This includes ergonomics expert from PETRONAS, Telekom Malaysia (TM), Sime Darby Plantation and members from academic background including UPM, UKM, UPNM, CUCMS. From the Ministry of Human Resource (MOHR) including DOSH and SOCSO. In addition, the guideline was reviewed thoroughly by both Malaysian Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE) in improving the content and the methodological issues related to the new ergonomics guideline.

This guideline will be a new additional guideline by DOSH that relates to ergonomics and industrial hygiene. Previous guidelines include:

  • Guidelines On Occupational Vibration (2003)Guidelines on Occupational Safety And Health For Working with Video Display Units (VDU)
  • Guidelines on Occupational Safety And Health For Seating at Work
  • Guidelines on Occupational Safety and Health For Standing at Work
  • Guidelines on heat stress management at workplace

The implementation of the new guidelines derived from the need to standardized ergonomics risk assessment method when reporting issues related to physical ergonomics either based on report needed based on the investigation ordered by DOSH or compensation report by SOCSO. By having this guideline, safety practitioner will be able to prepare a standard report based on either initial ergonomics risk assessment or an advanced ergonomics risk assessment that can be easily reviewed.

In addition to the need for standardization, ergonomics risk assessment guideline will assist the industries in reducing the prevalence of MSD among their workers, reduce error due to ergonomics hazard and increase productivity based on improvement and corrective action proposed.

This guideline comprises 10 parts including

Part 1: Introduction – Objective, Scope, Application, Def
Part 2: Planning And Conducting Era
Part 3: Process For Initial Era
Part 4: Process For Advanced Era
Part 5:  Hierarchy Of Control Based On Ergonomics Approach
Part 6: Documentation
Part 7: Review Of Assessment
Part 8: Responsibility And Accountability
Part 9: Instruction, Training And Consultation
Part 10: Record Keeping

An important aspect of this guideline is the appointment of a   trained person that will conduct the ergonomics risk assessment. The trained person is the assessor that will conduct the assessment based on either initial ergonomics risk assessment or advanced ergonomics risk assessment. In addition to specific modules for trained person, specifics topics should be used for awareness program to workers.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Shamsul Bahri
President HFEM

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HFEM-SOCSO Program (1) 2017


Our first program in 2017, Introduction on Ergonomics Assessment Method  had been successfully held on March 20, 2017 at Cyberjaya Integrated Excellent Safety and Health (CIESH) Seri Kembangan, Selangor. This program is organized by Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Malaysia (HFEM) and supported by Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial (PERKESO).

A great participation from  Occupational Health and Safety practitioners from various companies which includes the manufacturing business – Perodua, and academician – Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia  and Universiti Malaysia Perlis, Senior Managers, Consultants as well as Occupational Health Doctors.


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Professional Ergonomist Certification in Malaysia

The impetus for professional ergonomist certification was sparked off by a few executive members of HFEM, as well as a few other HFEM members who echoed a strong need for a professional ergonomist certification in Malaysia. It has been a long, 7 years since the establishment of the society and we are slowly, but surely gaining strength in numbers and recognition from various local and international agencies. As the numbers of practicing ergonomists grew in Malaysia the need for a Malaysian professional ergonomist certification became very significant.

Various professional bodies in Malaysia such as Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM), the Bar Council, Malaysian Medical Association have long been established in Malaysia, and they serve the vital function of ensuring the integrity of their respective professions. Doctors, engineers and lawyers are widely known to the Malaysian public as very respectable professions due to their nature of work. Therefore, both the public and the authorities require that those professions should be regulated to protect the welfare of the public and to ensure the highest standards of practice.

In a developing country like Malaysia, there is a growing recognition of the field of ergonomics and human factors. Both the authorities and the industry have steadily increased their demand for ergonomic and human factors services from practicing ergonomists. A professional ergonomist certification in Malaysia will require a certain level of standards to be met in terms of training and experience.

A certification committee has been set up in HFEM comprising of academicians, industrial practitioners and representatives from the relevant authoritative bodies in Malaysia such as Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) and NIOSH Malaysia. Various certification models have been reviewed from USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand among the committee members. The certification committee expects a finalized certification model to be ready by the end of this year, to be endorsed by the International Ergonomics Association. Till then, we hope that all members will be ready to apply for the certification once the process is completed.

Vice President

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