The Rules of Work: A Practical Engineering Guide to Ergonomics, Second Edition, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Rules of Work

A Practical Engineering Guide to Ergonomics, Second Edition, 2nd Edition

By Dan MacLeod

CRC Press

196 pages | 261 B/W Illus.

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The experience of the past decade since the publication of the first edition of The Rules of Work: A Practical Engineering Guide to Ergonomics proves justhow central ergonomics is for effective production. Revised and updated to reflect new insights from workplace developments, the second edition continues the tradition of providing essential tools for implementing good ergonomics in a way that simultaneously improves both productivity and safety.

What’s New in the Second Edition:

  • Updated examples and additional rules of thumb
  • "How to" pages cover actions such as how to design a workstation
  • Coverage of RULA, Strain Index, and TAPDA

In short, the plan of the book is that Part I provides help on how to think and Part II help on how to measure. The non-quantitative materials come first, since creativity in the application of the principles and rules provides greater value.

Based on 35 years of practical problem-solving in over 1,500 workplaces, the book provides a down-to-earth and practical guide for solving ergonomics problems. It provides a framework for evaluating tasks using low-tech, non-quantitative methods, along with an overview of the standard measuring systems for those occasions when numbers are needed.


"The book, like its predecessor, provides a very well illustrated and comprehensive set of manual work conditions that are amenable to ergonomics intervention methods. The "rules", principles and processes to achieve positive outcomes are clearly presented. This book should be on every practicing ergonomists book shelf."

—Don Chaffin, PhD, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

"The book’s strengths lie in the fact that it tells the reader up front that Ergonomics is not a costly intervention. It can provide inexpensive solutions that lead to significant improvements in the working environment. … plain speaking, practical, sensible and usable and the solutions have grown from the author’s real-life experiences in the working world."

—Dr. Céline McKeown, Link Ergonomics, Nottingham, England, UK

"Dan MacLeod elevates ergonomics to its rightful place as a necessary component in an effective production system. His straightforward and engaging writing style stimulates creative 'common sense' solutions, often at low cost. This book is a must read for anyone involved in process improvement, from the CEO to the working team members -- and especially the process engineers."

—Peter Budnick, Ph.D., President, Ergoweb Inc.

"This is a good introduction to the ergonomics of production environments with good examples of how to apply ergonomics in practice."

RS Bridger, Author of Introduction to Ergonomics, Third Edition

Table of Contents

The Rules

Introduction—Overview of the Field







Pressure Points


Movement and Change



Cognitive Ergonomics

Work Organization

Measurements and Guidelines

Introduction—Why Measure?


Exertion and Biomechanics




NIOSH Lifting Guide

Pushing, Pulling, and Carrying Guides

Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA)

Strain Index

Time and Physical Demands Analysis (TAPDA)

Employee Discomfort Surveys


Problem-Solving Process



Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Human Resources & Personnel Management
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Engineering
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety