We investigated the effect of an alternative welding system designed to reduce exposure to extreme trunk flexion on measures of trunk inclination and muscle activity. Among 10 participants, data were collected while using conventional stud welding equipment and while using the alternate system. Paired t-tests were used to compare results between the two welding systems. Mean trunk inclination angle was reduced with the alternate system (34.4 degree versus 9.7 degree, p less than 0.01). Percent time with trunk inclination angles greater than 60 degree was also reduced (40.0 percent versus 4.7 percent, p less than 0.01). In general, the alternate system resulted in less desirable upper trapezius muscle activity levels. The alternate system appears to be effective in reducing exposure to extreme trunk flexion among stud welders. Continued development of the system should explore features designed to reduce shoulder forces and improve productivity.
Ergonomics; Biomechanics; Musculoskeletal system; Equipment design; Welders; Welding; Welding equipment; Construction equipment; Men; Posture; Spinal cord; Epidemiology; Engineering controls; Human factors engineering; Muscle function; Muscle physiology; Body mechanics; Body regions; Measurement equipment; Biomechanical engineering;
Author Keywords: Construction; Ergonomics; Trunk posture
Nathan Fethke, University of Iowa, Occupational and Environmental Health, UI Research Park, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
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