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Work Equipment Design Issues

Work system design with an emphasis on design of work equipment and software refers to three different but interrelated interfaces; i.e. the task, the interaction and the information interface.

Task interface design

  • analyses of system goals, functions, activities and information required
  • allocating functions to operator and/or to technical components of a work system (e.g. machinery)
  • task requirements for systems design

Interaction interface design

  • interface human operator for task interactions (e.g. dialogue) with technical system
  • respect human performance capabilities and limitations and consider principles of human information processing

Information interface design

  • information modalities (e.g. visual), objects (e.g. text) and passive or active (e.g. label, control, feedback) impacts on human information processing

Human factors and ergonomics as well as occupational safety and health in work system design set the human operator task in the centre of the design strategy (primacy of task design) that should be supported by organisational and technical components to serve task completion and overall sys-tem performance.


  • EN 894 Series (ISO 9355 Series):2010. Safety of machinery – Ergonomics requirements for the design of displays and control actuators – Part 1: General principles for human interactions with displays and control actuators, Part 2: Displays, Part 3: Control actuators, Part 4: Location and arrangement of displays and control actuators. CEN, Brussels.
  • EN 614-2:2008. Safety of machinery – Ergonomic design principles – Part 2: Interactions between the design of machinery and work tasks. CEN, Brussels.
  • EN ISO 9241-112:2017. Ergonomics of human-system interaction – Part 112: Principles for the presentation of information. CEN, Brussels.
  • Nachreiner, F., Nickel, P., Meyer, I. (2006). Human factors in process control systems: The design of human–machine interfaces. Safety Science 44, 5-26.