AHFE Newsletters
October 2012
Number 35

HIGHLIGHTS

Factory Fire in Bangladesh killed 112 workers: Who enjoys better working conditions?

Call for Participation 5th International Conference of Applied HFE &
affiliated Conferences


Specialized Journals and Newsletters

Interesting Articles

Upcoming Conferences and Events in Ergonomics

Announcements

Contribute to the Applied Ergonomics International NEWS

About Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics International NEWS

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AHFE International 2014, July 19-23, 2014, Krakow, Poland

 
Factory Fire in Bangladesh killed 112 workers: Who enjoys better working conditions?


Over the years, working conditions in manufacturing have tremendously improved throughout western developed countries; although there is no question that there is still a lot of improvement needed to be done. However off-shoring the labor that is more intensive, physical, and oftentimes risky to the countries that lack adequate occupational health and safety laws and regulations is cheaper, and therefore more common even though it does not implement preventive measure. The excessive danger of such manufacturing jobs is put to the side, as companies take advantage of a population's poverty which allow workers to accept any physical and hazardous condition in order to feed themselves and their family.

The garment factory fire in Bangladesh, keep in mind that there are approximately 4,000 factories in this country, is the most recent accident related to this situation of occupational safety and health in countries manufacturing the goods sold in western developed countries.

A witness shown on ABC news said "Our production manager ... pulled down the collapsible gate on the third floor, forcing us to continue working."

The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights (http://www.globallabourrights.org) and press reported a variety of these catastrophic working conditions in many countries and the effects on the people surrounded by them. The incidents of human terror include a "Chinese Guest Workers Flee Living Hell in Jordan" and Reminiscent of Slavery, Young Women Flee, Running Away from the 93-Hour Work Week at the Rich Pine Factory."

On the work conditions at the iPhone and iPad plants in China: "Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms. Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. Under-age workers have helped build Apple's products, and the company's suppliers have improperly disposed of hazardous waste and falsified records, according to company reports and advocacy groups that, within China, are often considered reliable, independent monitors." (New York Times)

Relating to the ".working children in Pakistan is probably somewhere between 2 and 19 million...", "child weavers suffer work-related injuries and illnesses, such as injuries due to sharp instruments, respiratory tract infections, and body aches" (United Sates Bureau of International Labor Affairs).

The countless reports make me question the global concern about these situations, especially among ergonomic and human factors communities. Should we not pay more attention? Abbas Moallem

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References

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/business/ieconomy-apples-ipad-and-the-huma n-costs-for-workers-in-china.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
http://www.globallabourrights.org/reports?id=0646 http://www.dol.gov/ilab/media/reports/iclp/sweat/pakistan.htm#.ULfBGawX98E

Call for Participation 5th International Conference of Applied HFE & Affiliated Conferences


Deadline for Abstract
Paper presentations: 15 Nov 2013
Posters/demonstrations: 15 Apr 2014
Special interest groups: 15 Nov 2013
Tutorials: 15 Nov 2013

Specialized Journal and Newsletters

"The Health and Safety Report," The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health
and Safety (CCOHS), November 2012.

"Human Factor sand Ergonomics Society Bulletin,", Volume 55, Number 11.
November 2012
.

"Ergonomics in Design: The Quarterly of Human Factors Applications," HFES,
October 2012.

"Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making", HFES , December
2012; 6 (4)

NIOSH eNews, Volume 10, Number 7 (November 2012).

DoD Ergonomics Working Group NEWS, Issue 129, Nov/Dec 2012.

Interesting Articles

"Theory and Simulation in Neuroscience," www.sciencemag.org, Science Vol. 338 no. 6103 pp. 60-65.

"Cambridge to study technology's risk to humans," Associated Press - Sun, Nov 25, 2012.

"Brain-like chip outstrips normal computers," New Scientist, November 22, 1021.

"Twitter shows language evolves in cities," New Scientist, November 17, 1021.

"Computational Neuroscience: Memory-Making Is All About the Connection," Science Daily, November 8, 2012.

"DARPA Wants Robotics to Rise to the Challenge of Disasters," PC Magazine, October 24, 2012.

Upcoming Conferences 2012

December 2012

9-11 December: IFSEC & OSH ARABIA 2012, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

12-19 December 2012: 2012 IEEE EMBS Conference on Biomedical Engineering, Langkawi, Malaysia.

Announcements
July 2013: Michigan Human Factors Engineering Short Course , Designing Systems, Products and Services to Make them Easier, Safer, and More Effective for Human Use, 2013, Week 1: July 22 - 27 (Mon.-Sat.) Week 2: July 29 -August 2 (Mon.-fri.)
isd.engin.umich.edu
Contribute to Applied Ergonomics International NEWS

We welcome your input to the Applied Ergonomics International NEWS. Please send us interesting news, short articles, interesting websites, etc. We will consider your comments and contributions for upcoming issues. Please send your contributions to the editor Dr. Abbas Moallem .

Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics International NEWS

The Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics International NEWS is a newsletter about Ergonomics and Human Factors topics, the Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics International 2014 conference deadlines and activities, the Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics International 2014 Exhibition, news in the area of Ergonomics and Human Factors, and more. If you have any questions or comments, or if you would like to contribute, please contact the editor, Dr. Abbas Moallem (abbas.moallem@sjsu.edu). The opinions that are expressed in this Newsletter are the sole responsibility of its authors and do not represent any institution or company.

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