Ergonomics to Be Included in Brazilian Occupational Classification

In a significant development, the profession of Ergonomics is set to be officially included in the Brazilian Occupational Classification (CBO). This decision comes after consensus was reached between representative entities and the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE).

Background and Agreement

On Thursday, April 11, 2024, representatives from various professional bodies, including the Brazilian Association of Ergonomics (ABERGO), the Federal Council of Engineering and Agronomy (Confea), the Federal Council of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy (COFFITO), the Federal Council of Physical Education (CONFEF), and the Federal Council of Nursing (COFEN), engaged in discussions to ensure the inclusion of the Ergonomist profession in the upcoming update of the CBO.

What Does an Ergonomist Do?

An Ergonomist is a professional who applies a set of rules and procedures to organize the work environment and interactions between humans, machines, and equipment. Their primary objective is to reduce risks by addressing the physical spaces within companies and optimizing corporate processes. In essence, they strive to create workspaces that enhance both safety and efficiency.

Navigating Multidisciplinarity

The discussion around the validation of the Ergonomist CBO entry was crucial. Given that ergonomics is a multidisciplinary field, it intersects with various regulated professions at the higher education level. Denilson Santana, representing the President of Confea, highlighted the importance of a comprehensive approach: “By classifying Ergonomics as an occupation, we acknowledge its multidisciplinary nature, which ultimately contributes to a broader and higher-quality scope of work.”

Overcoming Challenges

The path to inclusion wasn’t without challenges. The Brazilian Association of Ergonomics (ABERGO) had previously requested the Ergonomist’s inclusion in the CBO. However, COFFITO expressed concerns, fearing potential confusion with engineering-related professions. Through this meeting, stakeholders sought alignment that would benefit all parties involved while ensuring the rightful place of the Ergonomist in the classification.

A Multiprofessional Endeavor

Patrícia Rosalfa Branco, representing COFFITO, emphasized the need for clarity. Professionals were wary of how the occupational classification would associate the Ergonomist with the engineering family. Acknowledging ergonomics as a multiprofessional science, the meeting participants discussed a suitable family grouping for its classification.