From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Chilean Ergonomics Society Joins IEA

The Chilean Society of Ergonomics (SOCHERGO) became a Federated Society in the International
Ergonomics Association (IEA) on August 31, 2002.

“… More than our organization, it is our country that is recognized… ” said SOCHERGO President Maria Eugenia Figueroa.

Federated societies are professional societies in ergonomics/human that have been admitted by the Council for having met and continuing to fulfill the eligibility criteria provided by the IEA Rules. They have voting rights and appoint representatives to Council based on the size of their membership.

The International Ergonomics Association is the federation of ergonomics and human factors societies around the world. The mission of IEA is to elaborate and advance ergonomics science and practice, and to improve the quality of life by expanding its scope of application and contribution to society.

Ergoweb spoke to SOCHERGO Communications Officer Dr. Miguel Acevedo about the issue:

EW: What ergonomics issues are important to Chile and how is SOCHERGO involved?

MA: In our country our main concern continues to be the physical work overload in our workforce.
Accidents and occupational diseases are very common, but have been declining.

The presence of ergonomics concepts in design is still scarce, but there are some enterprises where
you can see interest in incorporating them.

In fact, we have a mix of “developing countries” issues such as inadequate manual handling solutions, low back pain, repetitive movements and WRULD’s, together with more “developed society” issues including work stress.

Our Society is working to develop public awareness and governmental and business involvement in ergonomics. This goal is being achieved with communications in the mass-media and with our website

We also teach. There are two post-graduate university programs and a series of conferences open to interested people.

We have recently launched a book that compiles our history. It is titled “30 years of Ergonomics in
Chile”, and shows clearly that Ergo has been with us a long time even as we continually try to improve.

EW: What benefits do you hope will come from being a member of IEA?

MA: We feel that with joining the IEA we have become members of a world-wide family, who helps its
members, by sharing experiences, resources and giving reciprocal support.

We hope to grow locally, in our country, qualitatively and quantitatively. A recent IEA Symposia helped us a lot. In fact, we joined to IEA with 25 full members, the minimum quota; during this two-day Symposia we received over 50 membership applications!

We also are interested in growing regionally, and the IEA officers (W. Karwowsky, P. Falzon, K. Kogi
and specially Pat Scott) were very happy with our plan to support other Latin American countries who are trying to build their own ergonomics organizations. To do this, we want work in unison with the other
countries who have their own national societies (Argentina, Brasil, Colombia and M