We distinguish between provision of information, tools, and materials. All three factors need to be coordinated and aligned to the employee’s physical proportions and the process. In principle, the ideal place to provide material is within the singlehanded zone (orange area). The ideal way to accommodate the employee’s handling area is by using pivot arms with two (or, even better, three) joints. This allows for the shortest amounts of time in reaching items while also reducing strain on the employee. In principle, the same also applies to provision and positioning of tools.
In this arrangement, every tool has a dedicated spot, selected according to ergonomic criteria and equipped with a holder that is ideally suited to removing tools and putting them back.
Optimizing the horizontal and vertical angles in parts containers further facilitates the employee’s work.
Inserting further outward-facing parts containers enables a natural sequence of movements when taking materials out of the containers. A slight tilt toward the user makes the parts more visible and facilitates faster access to the materials inside.
In general, equipment aimed at providing materials, especially items in heavy use, is placed to be below the level of the user’s heart. This reduces strain on the cardiovascular system. In vertical arrangements, additional care must be taken to ensure that there is still enough room to perform the processes, and that heavier and more frequently used items are placed below lighter and less frequently used ones.
Less frequent movements can be performed within the expanded one-hand zone (blue). Carts, ideally also height-adjustable, are an effective option in this case.
The actual activity that determines the process should ideally take place in the two-hand zone (green).This area is also where the field of vision and visual acuity are at their greatest. For provision of information, the field of vision that corresponds to the handling area should be taken into account. This means that from the viewer’s standpoint, information should be arranged from the inside out in descending order of importance. This ensures that information that is needed regularly can be found without unnecessary turns of the head, which create strain.
For changing information, document holders or magnetic boards (where applicable, with magnetic notice holders) are an especially good option. For longer-term information, display panel holders or frames are preferred. It is often a good idea to color-code different types of information.
Optimum alignment of materials, tools, and information in terms of horizontal and vertical spacing and angles (ideally through two- or three-joint height-adjustable pivot arms).
Materials, tools, and information should be arranged according to frequency of use within the handling area or field of vision, as the case may be. In the case of materials, weight is another factor to take into account.
Wherever possible, place materials below heart level.
All materials, tools, and information should be assigned to a specific place.
Labels and visual coding make it easier to find parts and materials.
All alignments must be easy to adjust and should not shift unintentionally during operation.