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The journal will publish peer-reviewed original papers, covering a variety of occupational ergonomics issues including, but not limited to: prevention of work-related musculoskeletal injuries, task analysis, work design, occupational accidents, cognitive engineering, disability management, legal issues and the modeling of physical/mental stress at work. Emphasis will be on reflection of the recent increase in health and safety in the workplace and related job redesign requirements.
The journal aims to:
- provide a forum for publication of up-to-date research findings in the broad area of occupational ergonomics and safety
- provide a vehicle for distribution of information on occupational ergonomics and safety related issues, developments, and theories.
Articles will not be confined to research areas, but will comprise a balanced mixture of basic and applied research, literature reviews, case studies, short communications and book reviews in the broad area of occupational ergonomics and safety.
Abstract: In a variety of occupational settings, poor balance or loss of balance on passively unstable surfaces can have substantial consequences with respect to safety or job performance. In the work described here, a quantitative approach for evaluating balance on a passively unstable wobble board has been developed and assessed. Quantitative measures were computed from kinematic data obtained during wobble board balance tasks that were performed on two wobble boards with inherently different difficulty levels. Results…demonstrated that these measures were able to distinguish between the overall balance capacities associated with the different wobble boards, as well as to identify differences in balance strategies.
Abstract: This study examined an existing industrial workstation at an automobile assembly plant using computer aided ergonomics and digital human models. The purpose of this evaluation was the development of a motion capture-based methodology for evaluating workstations to identify potential design issues that could result in musculoskeletal injury in a real work environment. An ergonomic risk assessment was conducted on a sample of operators performing a lifting task manually and using an assist device. An…optical motion capture system was setup and calibrated in the industrial workplace to collect motion data. UGS™ JACK digital human modelling software was used for the computer-based ergonomic analysis to evaluate the potential injury risk of the current task, considering difference between using and not using the assist device. The work tasks were decomposed into subtasks before analysis. Muscle activity was also measured by wireless electromyography (EMG) in order to identify physiological indicators of stress and strain. The results suggest although using the assist device decreased injury risk potentially, use of the assist device had an adverse impact on the productivity of the assembly line. Based on the findings of this study, the methodology appears to be appropriate for assessing and predicting potential risks associated with the design of industrial workstations and work tasks. The results also highlight tradeoffs in using an assist device which can decrease injury risk in some cases, while having an adverse impact on the productivity of the assembly line.
Keywords: Digital human modeling, motion capture, ergonomics, manual material handling
Abstract: In the paper Subjective Overall Workload Assessment (SOWA) method was proposed and described. A computer information system supporting the process of generating appropriate assessment questionnaires and speeding up the analysis of collected data was presented. Next, the SOWA was practically applied for assessing the subjective workload of persons employed in a Polish sport textile industry company. The obtained results from 18 employees were presented and analysed. Finally, possible advantages, disadvantages, limitations, future…works, and a range of applications of the SOWA were discussed.
Abstract: This study investigated the effect of three different lifting instruction sets on the psychophysically selected loads. The instruction sets corresponded to three different load limit concepts: maximum acceptable weight of lift (MAWL), maximum comfortable weight of lift (MCWL), and maximum safe weight of lift (MSWL). Results demonstrated significant lifting instruction effects on the investigated dependent variables, including: selected load weight, selected load weight estimation, perceived physical effort, and perceived comfort and…safety ratings associated with the selected load weights. Perceived acceptability of selected load weight was the only variable upon which lifting instructions did not have a significant effect. The results showed that the MAWL instruction led to selected loads that were significantly heavier than the loads selected under MSWL instructions. Also, the level of perceived physical effort under the MAWL condition was significantly higher than those obtained under the MSWL and MCWL conditions. Results from this study are consistent with previous research findings that psychophysical selection of lifting loads is very sensitive to the instructions provided to the subjects. It also is suggested that the application of the classical psychophysical approach to setting limits for manual materials handling tasks should be carefully reappraised.
Abstract: Civil aviation passengers, including growing number of people traveling on business, as well as airline crew members are the groups of occupational risk, and have been discussed for years in the context of deep venous thrombosis (DVT). DVT is one of the most common problems faced by the clinicians in medicine today. Not only is there difficulty in making a definitive diagnosis but also in initiating proper treatment, especially as DVT is often asymptomatic…and goes undiagnosed with potentially fatal consequences. The main risk factor of DVT is venous stasis caused by a prolonged sitting posture in cramped economy class aircraft seats, hence the name of the medical condition: economy class syndrome. A specific microclimate of the airplane which is characterized by changes in air temperature, mild hipoxia and very low humidity also plays a significant role. Notwithstanding the growing popularity of the airplane as the means of transportation, the linkage of DVT and pulmonary embolism with airline travels remains unexplained. This paper presents a review of findings from the studies devoted to the aforementioned issue together with the examination of risk factors of DVT, DVT diagnostic methods and proposed guidelines for the prevention of DVT during airline travels which should include, amongst others, regular exercises, walking, drinking water and the use of preventive measures, such as: compression stockings and medications.
Keywords: Deep vein thrombosis, flying personnel, economy class syndrome, prevention