for physical measurements and dimensioning of the immediate site.
Human characteristics To provide readers of Applied Ergonomics with a selection of current ergonomics literature likely to be of direct practical value, abstracts are published selected from the collection held at the Ergonomics Information Analysis Centre. These abstracts are classified in a similar manner to the main articles in the journal; for easy reference, the code number at the head of each abstract (e g, 1.1.21) consists of the volume number, part or issue number and a sequential abstract number. The published abstracts are only a selection of the Centre's material and readers concerned with specific areas are invited to contact the Centre for further information. Those readers unable to obtain copies of the original articles abstracted here through their usual sources, such as company librarian, may obtain photocopies from the Centre. Details of this service are available from The Ergonomics Information Analysis Centre, School of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK (Tel: 0 2 1 - 4 1 4 4239).
General ergonomics 22.2.1 (118795) Wood, J. Developing standards for control-room design. In: E.J. Lovesey (Ed). Contemporary Ergonomics 1990, Taylor & Francis, London, 1990, pp 1 6 8 - 1 7 3 , 8 refs. Air traffic control, nuclear power stations and the emergency services offer examples of well established traditions of control-room provision. With the introduction of increasingly powerful communications and telemetry technologies other organisations, such as the security and process control industries, are being driven to coalesce a variety of functions into purpose designed control environments. Environmental design, workspace layout, equipment design and controlroom sizing are just some of the diverse factors which control-room planners are now being asked to co-ordinate. This paper considers the requirements for standards in control-room design and reports of initiatives in this area by ISO. 22.2.2 (119527) Acoustical Society of America, Accredited Standards Committee S3,
Bioacoustics. American National Standard - Guide for the measurement and evaluation of gloves which are used to reduce exposure to vibration transmitted to the hand. Acoustical Soc of America, New York, Standard No ANSI $3.401989 (ASA 79-1989), 1989, 10 pp, 17 refs. This standard specifies the recommended m e t h o d for the measurement, data analysis and reporting of vibration transmissibility characteristics of gloves which are used to reduce vibration exposure transmitted to the hand. A standard format is established
for measurement, data analysis and reporting of hand-transmitted vibration, in up to three orthogonal axes, in the frequency range from 5"6 to 1400 Hz. 22.2.3 (120037) Institute of Occupational Health (Tyoterveyslaitos), Helsinki. Developing the working environment in offices (Toimistotyon Kehittyva Tyoymparisto). (In Finnish.) Ergonom. iatiedote, 1990, No 1 , 2 4 pp. Office work is undergoing drastic change. Part of this change is due to the adoption of information technology. Nevertheless, the changes taking place in the objectives of organisations, in control symptoms, products, services and the expectations of clients, possibly influence working conditions even more. When looking at these changes, one should realise that, as some aspects of work change, the whole entity must be re-examined and planned from a new perspective. The rapid changes in the work tasks and environment of office workers have caused increased complaints and dissatisfaction. A study of workers in a statistical research institute carried out by the Institute of Occupational Health in 1983 and 1987 revealed shortcomings, especially in spatial arrangements (40% and 45%), workroom air (35% and 44%), placing of desks (17% and 34%). Also, shortcomings related to lighting and materials had increased significantly during the period under the study ( 1 8 % - 2 7 % and 26%--40% respectively). It is interesting to note that there was an increase in the employees' perception of the shortcomings, despite attempts to remedy the conditions. This study, along with several others, indicates that planning should be comprehensive, and that the whole field of ergonomic expertise is needed, not only the knowledge used
AppliedErgonomics April 1991
Milosevic, S., and Milie, J. Speed perception in road curves. J
Safety Res, 1990, 21.1, 1 9 - 2 3 , 14 refs. This study assessed drivers' perception of their driving speed on curves. A total of 206 drivers estimated their vehicle speed in the central part of a sharp-left curve with a small radius of 75 m and a super-elevation of 5-5%. A comparison of the mean speed estimates given by drivers after having passed the curve with their actual speeds at the central point of the curve (recorded by radar) showed that drivers underestimated their vehicle speeds. Speed estimation was more accurate for drivers who saw warning and speed limit signs. In general, experienced drivers and middle-aged drivers reported less-accurate speed estimates than younger, less experienced drivers. 22.2.5 (118839) Stanton, N.A., and Booth, R.T. The psychology of alarms. In: E.J. Lovesey (Ed). Contemporary Ergonomics 1990, Taylor & Francis, London, 1990, pp 3 7 8 - 3 8 3 , 11 refs. This paper attempts to provide a working definition of an alarm. This is done by first considering a systems model of an alarm and then a simple 'alarm clock' scenario. A typical scenario may include the stages: specification, activation, attraction, acknowledgement and action. Then the paper goes on to consider alarm handling, proposing five activities: detection, assessment, diagnosis, compensation and evaluation. Finally, three main research areas are identified as alarm specification, alarm detection and alarm diagnosis. 22.2.6 (118880) Gall, W. An analysis of nuclear incidents resulting from cognitive error. In: Operating reliability and maintenance of nuclear power plant. Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London, 1990, pp 6 1 - 7 1 , 9 refs. Cognitive (mental processing) error can lead to catastrophic consequences for manned systems, including systems whose design renders them immune to the effects of physical slips made by an operator. Four such errors, which occurred recently, were analysed. The analysis identifies what factors contributed to the errors and suggests practical strategies for preventing or recovering from them. Two stages of analysis were