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Ergonomic improvements in a medical device assembly plant: a field study.
Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 37th Annual Meeting, October 11-15, 1993, Seattle, Washington, Designing for Diversity. Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 1993 Oct; 37(Ind Erg):812-816
An ergonomic assessment of a medical device manufacturing facility was performed following a report to the NIOSH Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks program from the facility management due to large numbers of diagnoses of cumulative trauma disorders among employees. Data on injuries, lost work time, productivity, and quality were obtained by review of OSHA 200 logs and staff interviews. Ergonomic assessments consisted of a walk through inspection as well as in depth analyses of specific high risk tasks. Solutions to identified problems were developed by the ergonomics team in conjunction with workers and facility engineers and the effectiveness of the changes recommended by the team were evaluated by videotape analyses and worker surveys 6 weeks and 1 year after implementation. Prior to ergonomic intervention the annual incidence rate for cumulative trauma disorders was determined to be 13.7 cases of per 200,000 worker hours. The most frequent diagnosis was tendinitis with the wrist being the most frequently affected body part. The highest incidence and severity rates were seen in the assembly department. Problems such as high loads on the tendons and muscles of the hands, repetitive wrist motions, poor body positions, and localized contact stresses on upper extremities were noted. The changes implemented to alleviate these problems were described and a cost benefit analysis for the ergonomic assessment was presented. The cumulative trauma incidence and severity rates decreased significantly in the 1 year followup in the jobs in which the changes were introduced.
Assembly-line-workers; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Hand-injuries; Work-analysis; Job-analysis; Factory-workers; Risk-factors
Issue of Publication
Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 37th Annual Meeting, October 11-15, 1993, Seattle, Washington, Designing for Diversity
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division