The subject of these recommendations is those physical characteristics of office work places which Ecma International feels are relevant to the health and well being of human operators as well as to an efficient interface between the operator and the work place.
The component of the work place that is of primary importance to Ecma International is the Visual Display Unit and its associated keyboard.
These recommendations cover this equipment as well as its close environment. They are only applicable to work places where the equipment is used intensively, although they are valid rules for good ergonomics even for other types of terminals.
Safety aspects are covered in other Standards and are not included here.
Although Ecma International acknowledges that items like job content, the general organization of the job and the way the terminal is used are in many instances more important to the operator’s satisfaction than the physical factors, this recommendation has been restricted to physical characteristics.
The reason is two-fold:
- Computer manufacturers have a more direct influence on technical design than on the use.
- Psychological factors have not yet reached a scientific level which renders them ready for standardization.
The physical characteristics are thus a necessary, but not sufficient condition for the efficient use of VDU work places.
The quality, reliability and durability of the product should be such that the physical characteristics specified in these recommendations are maintained throughout the useful life of the product.