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Inter-rater reliability of cyclic and non-cyclic task assessment using the hand activity level in appliance manufacturing.

Paulsen R; Schwatka N; Gober J; Gilkey D; Anton D; Gerr F; Rosecrance J
Int J Ind Ergon 2014 Jan; 44(1):32-38
This study evaluated the inter-rater reliability of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists [ACGIH(R)] hand activity level (HAL), an observational ergonomic assessment method used to estimate physical exposure to repetitive exertions during task performance. Video recordings of 858 cyclic and non-cyclic appliance manufacturing tasks were assessed by sixteen pairs of raters using the HAL visual-analog scale. A weighted Pearson Product Moment-Correlation Coefficient was used to evaluate the agreement between the HAL scores recorded by each rater pair, and the mean weighted correlation coefficients for cyclic and non-cyclic tasks were calculated. Results indicated that the HAL is a reliable exposure assessment method for cyclic (r-barw = 0.69) and non-cyclic work tasks (r-barw = 0.68). When the two reliability scores were compared using a two-sample Student's t-test, no significant difference in reliability (p = 0.63) between these work task categories was found. This study demonstrated that the HAL may be a useful measure of exposure to repetitive exertions during cyclic and non-cyclic tasks. Relevance to industry: Exposure to hazardous levels of repetitive action during non-cyclic task completion has traditionally been difficult to assess using simple observational techniques. The present study suggests that ergonomists could use the HAL to reliably and easily evaluate exposures associated with some non-cyclic work tasks.
Ergonomics; Repetitive work; Hand tools; Task performance; Force; Exposure assessment; Exposure levels; Analytical processes; Cumulative trauma; Physical stress; Physiological effects; Physiological measurements; Work analysis; Performance capability; Industrial factory workers; Author Keywords: HAL; Hand activity level; Reliability; Exposure assessment; Non-cyclic work; Repetitive exertions
John Rosecrance, Colorado State University, Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, 1681 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-007945; Grant-Number-T42-OH-009229; M022014 Grant-Number-T42-OH-008491
Issue of Publication
Source Name
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Performing Organization
University of Iowa - Iowa City
Page last reviewed: December 17, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division