Featured Member – Manu Nellutla

Manu Nellutla, CCPE

Published: November 27, 2021

Current Position(s)

  • CEO, Actsafe Safety Association
  • CMHA Certified Psychological Health and Safety Advisor
  • ACE BC-Yukon Regional President

How long have you been an ACE member?

Since 2014.

How did you first become interested in ergonomics?

As a physiotherapist, ergonomics became part of my process for identifying risks associated with MSIs and providing advice for preventing and minimizing MSIs. In my 1st year BPT program, we had to write an essay on truck driver ergonomics. Most of the time my interaction has been in the physical ergonomics domain - even during my MPT course. It was only when I joined the MSc Ergonomics program at the University of Derby, that I realized the various other domains of ergonomics.

What didn’t you learn in school that you wish you had?

I think the Physiotherapy courses didn't elaborate enough on the various domains of ergonomics and didn't dwell much into the systems thinking and human factors aspect. Having some idea about the scope and breadth of ergonomics in school would have helped me further.

What is your favourite aspect of being an ergonomist? What is your favourite aspect of being involved in ergonomics?

  • Provides an opportunity to think from a systems perspective in everything we do.
  • Helps me approach occupational safety differently.
  • Gives me the opportunity to participate and explore the many applications we can intervene via ergonomics in various industries.

What do you see as the biggest opportunity for ergonomists in the future?

  • I see ergonomists being utilized in every industry to apply systems thinking in projects, safety, and processes.
  • Project management can be a great area where ergonomists can help with lean principles and a human factors approach in understanding and minimizing creep and waste.
  • There are so many areas to get involved in beyond just health and safety.

What advice would you give to a student or young professional starting out in ergonomics?

  • Connect, network, learn and apply.
  • Join groups like the Association of Canadian Ergonomists which has regional councils to reach out to locally. Through these groups you can network and learn from other ergonomists.
  • Understand what is required for being a Canadian Certified Professional Ergonomist and start your journey by being an Associate Ergonomist.
  • Learn and understand that ergonomics is more than just a physical domain and grow beyond your own area of expertise.