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Hand placement in manual materials handling.
Hum Factors 1983 Oct; 25(5):551-562
Present research on handle size, handle shape, handle surface texture, handle position, and handle angle is reviewed. Studies measuring performance, physiological cost, or psychophysical scale values for different handle using tasks have shown that optimum handle diameters fall in the range of 25 to 40 millimeters (mm). Optimal grip distances for maximum grip strength, and the effects of gloves on gripping forces are also discussed. Different handle shapes (elliptical, cylindrical, spherical, rectangular, triangular, and form fitting) and handle surface texture were briefly discussed. Studies have shown that handle position is more task specific than other handle variables. For manual materials handling of boxes, diagonally opposite hand positions that allow both horizontal and vertical stability are recommended. With heavy boxes, positioning both hands under the box minimizes the forces exerted. Handles located at 70 to 80 percent of shoulder height were recommended for pushing tasks and at 40 percent of shoulder height for pulling tasks. Handle angles were also discussed. The authors conclude that handle shape and size are relatively easy to define, but that placement on containers is a more difficult problem.
NIOSH-Author; Analytical-models; Anthropometry; Health-engineering; Equipment-design; Hoisting-equipment; Materials-handling; Musculoskeletal-system
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Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division