Welcome to the Swiss Ergonomics Association
The Swiss Ergonomics Association, in short SwissErgo, is the umbrella organization for all ergonomists and people involved in ergonomics in Switzerland. SwissErgo is a member of the Swiss Federation of Societies for Safety and Health at Work (Suissepro). Internationally SwissErgo is active as member of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA), the Centre for Registration of European Ergonomists (CREE), as well as the Federation of European Ergonomics Societies (FEES). SwissErgo's goal is to promote ergonomics in academic studies and in professional practice.
SwissErgo was founded in spring 1999 with 26 founding members and has today more than 150 members. Our association is “young” considering that in the second half of the last century Swiss ergonomists produced significant scientific contributions in the field and were at the forefront of the international development of ergonomics. Starting points and driving forces were three institutions led by important personalities: The Institute for Occupational Medicine and Ergonomics at the University of Geneva (Paule Rey, 1969-1994), the Institute for Occupational Health Science at University of Lausanne (Michel Guillemin, 1984-2005 and Brigitta Danuser 2005-) and the Institute for Hygiene and Applied Physiology at the ETH Zurich (Etienne Grandjean 1950-1983 and Helmut Krueger 1983-2004).
SwissErgo organizes an annual “exchange of experiences day” and one-day seminars on current themes. Members of SwissErgo are active in all geographic and linguistic regions of Switzerland and in all work the major domains of ergonomics. As an active member of CREE, SwissErgo also offers certification as a European Ergonomist (Eur.Erg.) to suitably qualified members.
Ergonomics in Switzerland
Today we witness that more and more academic disciplines and professional groups have included methods and principles of ergonomics into their practice. This integration opened new areas for interventions and broadened our involvement in software development, systems and industrial design. The recognition of ergonomics as an important part of occupational health and safety is still not legally anchored in Switzerland but in practice more and more people are active as consultants in this area. Therefore it can be noted that the interest in the field of ergonomics is growing and that our society is faced with new and different needs in terms of education.
Ergonomics has become more diverse, colorful and dynamic. Ergonomics as a scientific discipline and as profession is still developing and significant changes in our work environment provide researchers and practitioners with new challenges. Traditional topics such as lighting, noise and handling of loads remain important. New topics such as telework and information technology are still relatively unexplored. The world of work and the needs of society and the individual are subject to constant change. Ergonomics methods and standards (e.g. workplace and stress analysis) must constantly be updated and improved.
Although members of SwissErgo can be found working in the major domains of ergonomics, the majority are concentrated in occupational health and safety positions. Many members have a background in physiotherapy and are specialised in the prevention of musculoskelletal disorders at work. A substantial number are nevertheless active in product and software design. Many of the Eur.Ergs also hold occupational hygiene or safety management qualifications due to the laws relating to occupational health and safety specialists, which currently do not recognise human factors and ergonomics specialisation.