|M.Sc Student||Rosenfeld Yifat|
|Subject||Human Factors in Laboratory Planning|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Ms. Rachel Sebba|
This study investigates various topics related to the conditions and place of people in the laboratory, with the goal of arriving at recommendations for laboratory planning. The laboratory is a modern work-environment which is shared by persons and advanced equipment alike. The study focuses on the psychological-sociological aspects, rather then the basic ergonomic factors which have been studied extensively in the past.
Three bacteriology laboratories, in three different hospitals, where chosen as representative objects for this study. The data for the study was collected by questionnaires interviews, observations, measurements and field analysis. The analysis of the data was performed by two methods: As a separate "case study" of each laboratory (hospital) and by comparative analysis of the group as a whole while neutralizing variables which seem to be highly correlated to any specific laboratory.
The interviews and observations were used to study the attitude of the subjects towards their work environment, and their behavioral patterns in that environment. By crossing data, the study analyzed the relations between the subjects’ behavior and their evaluation of the environment on one hand, and the actual physical data and personal variables on the other hand.
The personal variables which were tested against are: Seniority (i.e. the number of years in the hospital which is also highly correlated to age), and the level of education The physical variables chosen were: The area per person, number of people in the room, seating arrangements, light levels in the room and at the work surface and the distance of the work station from the window. Physical variables which are highly correlated to the specific hospital (e.g. size of windows, room proportions etc.) were not tested against. While analyzing the data it was found that there exist mutual inductances between the subjective evaluation of some of the physical variables.
The main findings of the study are that people react directly by negative evaluation, to physical environmental conditions, as long as they are below a certain threshold. But once the physical conditions enable the person to function his satisfaction is influenced mainly by the nature and level of his expectations with respect to these conditions.
Another finding is that a satisfactory work environment raises both the awareness of the bacteriology laboratory worker to the risk involved in his work and his sense of criticality of his work which concerns the health and life of the patients.
Lack of satisfactory environmental conditions and in particular those that influence the subjective space evaluation, causes escape from the room by either actually getting out of the room or by looking out through the window, with subsequent reduction in productivity and quality.
The study leads to some conclusions for the planner:
The optimal (bacteriology) laboratory room should be occupied by two people, sitting back to back on both sides of the room and somewhat away from, the window. The area per person should be no less than 6 sq. meters. In rooms occupied by more than two people, care should be taken that no more than two are seated at any single work- bench, and that the width of room takes this into account. The lighting should provide about 900-1000 lux at the work surface, and about 600 lux in the room.