The Friday Five is a set of five links that I have come across this week that pertain to ergonomics, occupational health, safety, human performance, or human factors. For whatever reason, I found them interesting, but they are provided with minimal or no commentary and are not meant to be endorsement for a given product.
This week’s Five come from some of the newest additions to PubMed when using the search terms: ergonomics and workplace.
Shafti et al. looked at performance of work related tasks and levels of perceived discomfort (Borg scale) versus measurements from the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment and data collected from EMG sensors and electronic goniometers. Not surprisingly, the RULA tool and data collected on muscle activity and joint angles were better at picking up small changes than the perceived discomfort described by the study subjects.
Khandan et al. utilized Fuzzy Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) to review job positions within a manufacturing facility to help determine which job titles would benefit from ergonomic interventions. Often, clients realize that they have many positions that would benefit from ergonomic intervention but have limited funds to apply to interventions. Tools such as this allow ergonomic professionals to better direct employers to the best application of limited intervention funds.
This paper in Frontiers of Human Neuroscience by Nafizi et al. looks at the muscle synergies that occur during slipping events. Determining what happens in the initial microseconds of a slipping event can help lead to the development of strategies to reduce injuries during slip and fall events.
Irzmansk and Tokarski created a new method of ergonomic testing for gloves that protect and cuts and stab wounds when using knives. One of the biggest issues with glove usage is that the design of gloves can change muscle recruitment, usage, and fatigue patterns when compared to performance of the activity without glove usage. Specialty gloves for butchers and fishmongers are designed to protect against injuries from knife usage hovewever they can increase the physical gripping demands of the task. This study helps to better quantify these changes based on glove design.
A paper in Applied Ergonomics by Coenen et al. looks into the issues of “prolonged sedentary time” and reviewed occupational health and safety policies that relate to this issue. No specific existing policies were found, however the authors note that the issue of prolonged sedentary behavior is one that needs to be researched and addressed.