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Ergonomic evaluation of a cabinet manufacturing facility.

Nestor DE; Bobick TG; Pizatella TJ
Proceedings of the Human Factors Society 34th Annual Meeting, October 8-12, 1990, Orlando, Florida. Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 1990 Oct; 34(10):715-719
The results of a detailed ergonomic evaluation of a cabinet manufacturing facility were presented. The report was the result of a NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation made at the request of the management. The facility employed about 450 full time workers (425 union, 25 salaried), and consisted of a 300,000 square foot area in three different buildings. Data generated by the facility's safety and ergonomics program, as well as their computerized injury surveillance system, for the period January 1986 through December 1988 were used. A factory tour was also undertaken to collect biomechanical and ergonomic data, and to identify hazards. The methodology included videotaping workers (36 tasks); measuring workstations, static force exertions, manually handled weights, and pushing force exertions; and interviewing workers at risk for injury. Of the 36 tasks, 17 major tasks were reviewed (the other 19 were variations of the 17), and a taxonomy of selected operations was developed with respect to injury risk. Analysis of the company's injury statistics revealed a total of 276 OSHA reportable injuries during the period under review. Of these, 135 (49%) were lacerations, bursitis, tendinitis, or numbness of upper extremities, or sprains/strains (other than back); 58 (21%) were back sprains/strains; and less than 10% each were lower extremity, head/neck, or eye injuries. Of the injuries, 70% were sustained during the first year of employment at the factory, 43% in the first 6 months, 16% in the first month, and 10% on the first day. Manual materials handling operations at the defect saw cut table had the highest rates of injury (7.8 and 6.8/100 workers). Cabinet lifting and transport cart and stacking bank pushing tasks also required controls to reduce injury risks. Recommendations were made based on ergonomic considerations to minimize risk factors associated with sustained postures overexertion, lifting/carrying, sudden movements, and repetitive motion.
Biomechanics; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Ergonomics; Furniture-workers; Manual-lifting; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Risk-analysis; Woodworkers
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Proceedings of the Human Factors Society 34th Annual Meeting, October 8-12, 1990, Orlando, Florida
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division