BS EN ISO 6385:2016 - Ergonomics principles in the design of work systems

BS EN ISO 6385:2016

Ergonomics principles in the design of work systems

Status : Current   Published : October 2016



This International Standard establishes the fundamental principles of ergonomics as basic guidelines for the design of work systems and defines relevant basic terms. It describes an integrated approach to the design of work systems, where ergonomists will cooperate with others involved in the design, with attention to the human, the social and the technical requirements in a balanced manner during the design process.

Users of this International Standard will include executives, managers, workers (and their representatives, when appropriate) and professionals, such as ergonomists, project managers and designers who are involved in the design or redesign of work systems. Those who use this International Standard can find a general knowledge of ergonomics (human factors), engineering, design, quality and project management helpful.

The term “work system” in this International Standard is used to indicate a large variety of working situations, including permanent and flexible work places. The intention of this International Standard is to assist in the improvement, (re)design or change of work systems. Work systems involve combinations of workers and equipment, within a given space and environment, and the interactions between these components within a work organization. Work systems vary in complexity and characteristics, for example, the use of temporary work systems. Some examples of work systems in different areas are the following:

  • production, e.g. machine operator and machine, worker and assembly line;

  • transportation, e.g. driver and car or lorry, personnel in an airport;

  • support, e.g. maintenance technician with work equipment;

  • commercial, e.g. office worker with workstation, mobile worker with a tablet computer, cook in a restaurant kitchen;

  • other areas like health care, teaching and training.

The observance of ergonomic principles applies to all phases throughout the life cycle of the work system from conception through development, realization and implementation, utilization, maintenance and support to decommissioning.

The systems approach in this International Standard gives guidance to the users of this International Standard in existing and new situations.

The definitions and ergonomic principles specified in this International Standard apply to the design of optimal working conditions with regard to human well-being, safety and health, including the development of existing skills and the acquisition of new ones, while taking into account technological and economic effectiveness and efficiency.

The principles in this International Standard are applicable to many other human activities, e.g. in the design of products for domestic and leisure activities. A more general description of the principles in this International Standard can be found in ISO 26800.


This International Standard is considered to be the core ergonomic standard for work systems from which many others on specific issues are derived.


Although elements of the system can be the same, this International Standard is not intended to be applied to systems used in a non-work context (e.g. the use of a vehicle for private purposes).

Standard NumberBS EN ISO 6385:2016
TitleErgonomics principles in the design of work systems
Publication Date31 October 2016
Normative References(Required to achieve compliance to this standard)No other standards are normatively referenced
Informative References(Provided for Information)ISO/TR 16982, EN 1005-5, ISO 11226, EN 16710-2, ISO/TR 22411, ISO/IEC Guide 71, ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288:2015, OHSAS 18001, ISO 10075-2, ISO 9241, ISO 9355, EN 1005-4, ISO 10075-3, ISO 11064, ISO 10075, EN 12464-1, ISO 26800, EN 614-2:2000+A1:2008, EN 614-1:2006+A1:2009, ISO 1503
International RelationshipsISO 6385:2016,EN ISO 6385:2016
Draft Superseded By14/30297790 DC
DescriptorsEnvironment (working), Work stations, Anthropometric characteristics, Design, Work study, Occupational safety, Ergonomics, Dimensions, Working conditions (physical), Human body
Title in FrenchPrincipes ergonomiques de la conception des systèmes de travail
Title in GermanGrundsätze der Ergonomie für die Gestaltung von Arbeitssystemen
ISBN978 0 580 85944 1
File Size1.84 MB

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