Echoes from the 52nd SELF Congress held in Toulouse- September 2017

At the opening of the 52nd SELF Congress held in Toulouse (France) took place in a plenary session a round table on the issue : «ergonomics beyond our borders : which lessons for our development ?» where were presented : a reflection on the French language ergonomics peculiarities (Pierre Falzon) with the specificity of the field studies, the synthesis of the SWOT enquiry on the development of ergonomics in Europe and beyond (Sylvain Leduc – results coming soon on the FEES website) which shows the remaining discrepancy between ergonomic knowledge and its implementation in the systems design. A debate followed the lectures with four ergonomists from various countries where French ergonomics is implemented: Alain Piette (Belgium) explained that, although ergonomics has been included in the OSH regulations in Belgium, its implementation in the companies faced serious difficulties; Bénédicte Calvet (Canada / Québec) mentioned an interesting development of ergonomics in the companies. According to her views, a solution could be an integration of ergonomics in OHS; Chico Duarte (Brazil) recorded the important spreading of the activity ergonomics in his country but the present crisis in the Government and in the University was for the time being a factor which was not favorable to its development; Pascal Etienne (France) explained that in front of the stake for the future of ergonomics in France and in order to answer the question “what the society does expect from ergonomists ?”, the dialogue with the global ergonomics inside FEES or IEA could be a real lever.

The Congress gathered 580 attendees. 84 lectures were presented, as well 6 symposia (including 24 lectures on a whole) and 10 round tables on the ergonomists practices, on various activity fields and the ways for ergonomics to be recognized. Keynote speeches in plenary sessions presented enlightening reflections on the future of work: two conferences on the issue «from past work to future work: which risk or levers to build health?» : Thomas Coutrot (economist) presented the prospective work achieved with INRS on the issue “production modes and methods in France in 2040” and Alain Garrigou (ergonomists) spoke on the issue : “ergonomics facing the burn out society”. Eric Brangier (ergonomist) explained ideas coming from the «prospective ergonomics» on the issue « future, innovation, ergonomics». Such way of doing will be presented in a symposium in the frame of the IEA 2018 congress in Florence.