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Low back injury risks during construction with prefabricated (panelised) walls: effects of task and design factors.

Authors
Kim-S; Nussbaum-MA; Jia-B
Source
Ergonomics 2011 Jan; 54(1):60-71
NIOSHTIC No.
20038142
Abstract
New technology designed to increase productivity in residential construction may exacerbate the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) among residential construction workers. Of interest here are panelised (prefabricated) wall systems (or panels) and facilitating an ongoing effort to provide proactive control of ergonomic exposures and risks among workers using panels. This study, which included 24 participants, estimated WMSD risks using five methods during common panel erection tasks and the influences of panel mass (sheathed vs. unsheathed) and size (wall length). WMSD risks were fairly high overall; e.g. 34% and 77% of trials exceeded the 'action limits' for spinal compressive and shear forces, respectively. Heavier (sheathed) panels significantly increased risks, although the magnitude of this effect differed with panel size and between tasks. Higher levels of risk were found in tasks originating from ground vs. knuckle height. Several practical recommendations based on the results are discussed. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: Panelised wall systems have the potential to increase productivity in residential construction, but may result in increased worker injury risks. Results from this study can be used to generate future panel design and construction processes that can proactively address WMSD risks.
Keywords
Biodynamics; Biomechanics; Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Ergonomics; Exposure-assessment; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Muscle-physiology; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Physiological-factors; Physiological-stress; Posture; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Safety-practices; Statistical-analysis; Work-environment; Worker-motivation; Work-performance; Workplace-studies; Work-practices; Author Keywords: ergonomics; prevention through design; residential construction; risk assessment
Contact
Maury A. Nussbaum, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, 250 Durham Hall (0118), Blacksburg, VA 24061
CODEN
ERGOAX
Publication Date
20110101
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
nussbaum@vt.edu
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
2011
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U19-OH-008308; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-009761
Issue of Publication
1
ISSN
0014-0139
Priority Area
Construction
Source Name
Ergonomics
State
VA
Performing Organization
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
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