“Ergonomists must bring added value to businesses and organisations”

Dirk Delaruelle, Head of Ergonomics at Mensura, was recently elected new chairman of the Belgian Ergonomics Society (BES). As such, he will be performing a leading role in the field of ergonomics in Belgium over the next three years. He has taken up this new position with a clear mission and vision in mind.

You are commencing your new role in a very challenging time, as there seems to be quite a divide in Belgium within the discipline of ergonomics.

Dirk Delaruelle: “It is indeed a challenge with the situation as it currently stands. Some of the Dutch-speaking members of the BES decided to leave the society and establish a new, Flemish ergonomics society in 2016. We regret this very much, as the field of ergonomics is such a niche field already. I believe that all ergonomics advocates and ambassadors should be working together as one team.   

I do not want to be chairman of an interest group that is sort of competing with other ergonomics societies.”

What do you hope to achieve during your chairmanship?

“It is our mission to achieve two goals. First of all, I would like to overcome the current impasse and reunify the ergonomic landscape. Ergonomics is too small and too important a discipline to be this fragmented. When I accepted the mandate to become chairman of the BES, all parties indicated to be willing to work on this with me.   

In addition, I plan to strengthen and extend the philosophy on ergonomics that we have been putting into practice at Mensura for the last ten years: as experts in the field, ergonomists must bring added value and deliver effective advice to businesses and organisations.”

What do you mean with added value?

“I am quite critical towards the actions and attitudes of some ergonomists these days. They merely stick to what the law prescribes and limit their actions to risk analyses and advice ‘on paper’. They then believe it is the sole responsibility of the employer to do something with it or not. I abhor this practice. I would love to see these colleagues put their heart into their work more often and show a bit more enthusiasm.

The principles of ergonomics are extremely relevant today and even more so in the future. We will all be working longer hours and the working conditions of tomorrow will be different from today’s.”

What does your role as chairman of the BES mean for Mensura?

“It’s an honour for myself and for Mensura to be taking up this new role as chairman. I have been Head of Ergonomics at Mensura since 2005, and I am now given a new opportunity to inspire all the relevant parties at national level with a strong vision on the importance of ergonomics.

At Mensura, we always go above and beyond the minimum expectations when it comes to creating optimal working conditions for employees. To us, ergonomics also means improving system performance. By practicing proper ergonomics, the productivity of a company will increase and so will the quality of the products or services they provide. This creates a win-win situation for both employer and employees. We can now extend these insights and learnings on a more national level.”

Mensura can help you manage current and future challenges in ergonomics. Find out how we can assist you and create added value for your organisation.

Who is Dirk Delaruelle?

The appointment of Dirk Delaruelle as the new chairman of the BES is the result of his long career in the field of ergonomics and the various roles he fulfilled throughout the years. In addition to being a practicing physician and ergonomist, Delaruelle has served on the board of the BES for fifteen years. He co-founded the Federation of European Ergonomics Societies (FEES) and is also a board member of the Centre for Registration of European Ergonomics (CREE).