Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 15 million

Official Journal Reference

C 270 of 1985-10-22

Legislative Reference

To address ergonomics questions relevant to safety in areas of the ECSC industries undergoing technological change, to continue an ergonomics contribution to health and safety in those areas less affected by the new technologies, and to establish the results from previous ECSC ergonomics programmes in the every-day practice of the various health, safety and procurement functions of the industries as well as in the design and manufacture of the industries' equipment.


Pursuant to Article 55 of the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the Commission is required to promote technical and economic research relating to occupational safety in the coal and steel industries. The funds for this aid are derived from levies imposed on the production of coal and steel as provided for in Article 49 of the ECSC Treaty.

This fifth ECSC programme of ergonomics for the steel and coal industries built on the results of the previous programme (1980-1984 ) which focused on automated systems, heavy plant and equipment, protective clothing and equipment, and underground illumination. Like its predecessor, it formally embraced the four Member States with coal industries and eight of those with steel industries. The network of national ergonomics teams built up during the fourth programme continued to coordinate Community ergonomics projects within national industry and, with the assistance of a central bureau for coordination and information dissemination, to liaise with other national teams and the Programme Committee of Scientific Experts at the Community level.


- Ergonomics and technological development:
To reduce the risks to safety inherent in "human- machine" incompatibility by addressing problems related to the design of hardware and software systems, the influence of the physical work environment, the influence of work organization, and to the planning and evaluation of operator training;

- Production plant and equipment:
To support the study and evaluation of the ergonomics requirements of operations based on traditionally engineered plant and equipment with a view to improving the working conditions;

- Specific topics:
Three topics of special importance with regard to improving health and safety in the ECSC industries:
. Biomechanical damage risks:
To support the study, development and evaluation of the ergonomics requirements in the design of equipment and tools with a view to reducing lumbar and general muscular accidents and injury;
. Hearing conservation and auditory communication:
To support the further study, development and evaluation of the ergonomics requirements in the design of hearing conservation and allied communication systems;
. Underground illumination mining:
To support studies directed at defining the requirements of ergonomics standard for the design of underground lighting in mines;

- The development of results:
Through the medium of the Community Ergonomics Action Bureau of Information and Coordination, to support activities to ensure the dissemination and utilization of the results of the previous ergonomics programmes.


The Commission was responsible for the implementation of the programme, assisted by the Committee of Producers and Workers for Industrial Safety and Medicine, by a committee of government experts and by a "Fifth ECSC Ergonomics Programme Committee of Scientific Experts" incorporating representatives of all the national ergonomics teams of the steel and coal industries. The Committee of Scientific Experts undertook the coordination of the research programme through working parties on the themes of the programme. Dissemination of important findings and current developments to the appropriate sectors of the industries was assured by the network comprising this same committee, the national ergonomics teams and the Community Ergonomics Actions Bureau of Information and Coordination.
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