November 2018
Message From the President

As ergonomists it is important for us to be able to communicate our ideas effectively and know that communication is more than just our words. "It also includes:
          • how you say it,
          • why you say it,
          • when you say it,
          • what you don't say, and
          • your body language."read more
There are many websites where you can find tips on how to improve your communication skills and what barriers to avoid; 9 effective communication skills, communication skills list, leadership development tips, effective communication
A good summary of the skills an effective communicator has developed are:
  • "The skill of active listening
  • The skill of asking questions that helps both parties reach a common understanding
  • The skill of verbal communication to articulate the message to minimise misunderstandings
  • The skill of using non verbal communication appropriately and being able to respond to non verbal communication appropriately
  • The skill or paraphrasing and summarising to clarify understanding and ensure both parties are in agreement as to what has been discussed." more details here
So, while it is clear that good communication involves many skills, today I want to focus on something I've been studying recently - the words we use to express our ideas as well as our reactions to other's ideas and actions. I'm sure we all remember the chant from our childhood that goes "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" but in reality, words can hurt. For example, how would you feel if someone said "That will never work" to an idea you expressed or "You didn't do that right" to something you had done. While neither are probably meant to hurt, there are better ways to phrase both. So instead of saying "That will never work" what about saying "That's one option, here are my concerns" and instead of saying "You didn't do that right" what about saying "Does this way of doing it still meet the requirements"? Both alternate phrases still have the same meaning but have a less judgmental tone to them.

Here are some simple steps that have been identified to master non-judgmental communication:
  • "When in disagreement, commit to focusing on the veracity of a claim, not your opinions of the person you disagree with.
  • Hear the person out all the way before coming to a conclusion.
  • Ask "why" to get a better understanding behind someone's actions or thinking.
  • Ask them what they think could be improved. They may make the same observations you've made, which helps neutralize judgment.
  • Instead of giving something a thumbs down offer constructive pointers and ideas for improvement.
  • Use non-judgmental language. Instead of "good", "bad", "right" and "wrong" use the word "interesting" and follow it up with your observations.
  • Keep things focused on the situation at hand and avoid generalizations."more here.
The best way to improve the wording choices you make is to practice, practice, practice while continuously refining how you phrase what you say and write. Other resources can be found here: CNVC and  Non Judgemental Language.
As always, we welcome your suggestions and your continued efforts to get the word out about the Society by telling your friends and colleagues about AES.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
Teresa A. Bellingar , AES President
Poster Presentations Deadline Extended

Deadline Extended to submit your abstract for Poster Presentations until 
Nov. 27.  Educators, students, professionals, researchers and others are urged to submit original contributions  related to the fields of ergonomics, healthcare
, safety, human resources and risk management that can be displayed in an educational poster format.
AES Member Spotlight - Mireya Springer

Mireya Springer has been in the ergonomics profession for more than 25 years. She is currently the Ergonomics Program Manager at Cardinal Health, headquartered in Dublin, Ohio. Mireya's work there allows her to implement a variety of ergonomics improvements at Cardinal Health locations around the world. One goal she has there is to develop and implement ergonomics processes across these sites, so that ergonomics becomes a part of Cardinal Health's cultural identity.

Mireya continually seeks practical, state-of-the-art ergonomics information that she can use to help employees across the locations she oversees. This includes learning about new or novel equipment that can be used to reduce or prevent ergonomics-related injury risks, "best practices" for work processes, and unique ergonomics success stories. She also is quite interested in topics some may consider controversial, such as the impact of overtime work, methods to rotate employees across multiple jobs, and the pros and cons of stretching programs. These are some of the reasons she became a member of the Applied Ergonomics Society, as she hopes it will allow her more easily find new knowledge on these and other ergonomics issues.

One of Mireya's proudest ergonomics achievements was her participation in the Safety Intervention Grant Program, developed during her time working at the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. Through this effort, she coordinated with BWC customers to identify potential ergonomics interventions to solve workplace problems and then assist them in obtaining funds to have those solutions implemented. During her tenure at the BWC, the agency had awarded nearly 4,300 grants, totally nearly $111 million!

Mireya has found the ergonomics profession to be very rewarding because its outcomes help people, through a reduced potential for injuries, improved work conditions, and increased morale. These are in addition to employer-related benefits, including increased productivity, improved quality, and reduced injury costs and turnover.

Mireya has a lot of advice for those considering ergonomics as profession. First, she suggests setting a goal to become a Certified Professional Ergonomist (offered through the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics ). She has found that this accreditation not only enhances credibility, peer recognition and personal satisfaction, but it is desirable to many potential employers. Second, Mireya stresses the importance of involving affected employees in the ergonomics evaluation and improvement process and learning from their expertise. This will show respect for these individuals and the work they do, result in an increased understanding of work demands, help to generate ideas that would improve the job, and increase buy-in due to any work process changes that occur.

Mireya has a passion for travel, but she also enjoys taking cooking classes, exploring new cuisines, going to movies, and doing community volunteer work.

IISE Connect - Making the Most of Your AES Membership

Are you taking full advantage of your membership in the Applied Ergonomics Society? One way to increase your visibility, communicate with others more easily, and learn more about ergonomics is to complete your Member Profile. After you sign into IISE Connect , click on your Profile. Once there, you will be able to:
  • Input biography details, including your educational achievements, job responsibilities, and work history;
  • Promote the business/industry in which you work; and
  • Identify those IISE and AES members that you wish to connect with directly.
IISE Connect offers a straightforward gateway to other IISE communities and provides means to share files with other members, participate in discussions, and even create and publish your own blog. So, check out IISE Connect .

New Certificate and Innovative Training for Ergonomic Specialists

AES has partnered with UL to provide a five-course training program to earn the Ergonomic Improvement Specialist Certificate . AES members and Corporate Partners receive a discounted rate. The course is offered in English and Spanish. Read more here.
Registration now open for the 22nd Annual Applied Ergonomics Conference

Join us for innovation, exploration and opportunities at the 2019 Applied Ergonomics Conference (AEC) taking place March 25-28, 2019, in New Orleans. Gain exposure to the latest developments, learn from industry leaders and connect with colleagues at your top industry event of the year.   Register now  for early-bird savings of $200 before Jan. 21!

Join a Webinar  

Save the date! Camille Majors on Jan. 9 @ 3:00 PM ET

Camille Majors will be presenting the AES January Webinar. The topic will be crossing over from just Ergonomic responsibilities to adding Safety responsibilities. More and more companies are streamlining into one person/department that can handle both.  Camille has successfully made that transition and will talk about what it takes.

The registration link will be available shortly.

Accelerate Your Career: Professional Licensure

Presented by IISE PE Exam Committee - OPEN TO ALL
Jan. 24, 2 p.m. Eastern time
Caitlin Kenney, systems engineer, International Systems Management Corp.
This webinar will present the features and benefits of becoming a licensed professional engineer (PE) in the industrial and systems discipline. The webinar will introduce licensure, the differences from a certificate, explain why you should become a professional engineer and the benefits that accrue from it.
 Not an IISE member yet?   Join AES here.