International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics (10 papers in press)
Human-machine interaction and health at work: a Scoping Review
by Swantje Robelski, Sascha Wischniewski
Abstract: Human-machine interaction (HMI) in industrial work processes has been an important topic during the last decades, but the latest technological developments such, as for example, cyber-physical systems and increasingly shorter innovation cycles in this field pose new challenges to the design of human-machine systems and highlight the enduring importance of the subject. This paper presents the main results of a review on human-machine interaction and health at industrial workplaces using the scoping review methodology. The review prepared is based on 102 studies covering aspects of function allocation, interface and interaction design, as well as operation and supervision of systems. Results of the review process and on function allocation, in particular, as an important feature of human-machine interaction are discussed in detail. The results show that mainly aspects of well-being and performance are discussed in literature within the context of function allocation. Furthermore, the scoping review reveals a research need for human-machine interaction and mental health at work as well as a need for more comparable research designs.
Keywords: Human-machine interaction; function allocation; health; performance; scoping review.
No tendency for human operators to agree with automation whose response bias matches their own
by Megan Bartlett, Jason McCarley
Abstract: Evidence suggests that false alarm-prone decision aids can engender stronger disuse than miss-prone aids, even when automation false alarms and misses are matched in perceptual characteristics. The present experiment sought to replicate this effect, and examine whether it reflects a tendency for operators to agree with automation whose response bias matches their own. Participants performed a simulated baggage screening task, alone or with assistance from an automated decision aid prone either to misses or false alarms. A point system encouraged participants themselves to adopt either a conservative, liberal, or neutral response bias. Target-present responses were faster from participants assisted by the miss-prone aid than from participants assisted by the false alarm-prone aid, regardless of the human operators response bias. Neither response times nor accuracy rates, however, showed evidence of a generalized asymmetry in the effects of automation false alarms and misses.
Keywords: automation; human operator; use; agreement; trust; baggage screening; decision making; bias; payoffs; signal detection theory.
Ergonomic Evaluation of Cumulative Trauma Disorders among Female Carpet Weavers in India: Guidelines to an Affective Sustainability in Work System Design
by Ashish Kumar Singh, Makkhan Lal Meena, Himanshu Chaudhary, Govind Sharan Dangayach
Abstract: The development of cumulative trauma disorders (CTD) is the most common problem among the female weavers in hand woven carpet industry. The main idea of this paper is shedding light on the problems encountered during hand weaving and investigating the body and palmar regions that are most affected. This article establishes the guidelines to develop ergonomic design of hand tools for carpet weaving. Seventy-nine randomly selected female weavers were surveyed and the data about pain occurring in body and palmar regions were collected by questionnaire. Strain Index (SI) technique was used to identify the postural risks during weaving. Grip strength tests were conducted to assess the change in static muscle strength during the weaving activity. Most of the participants reported discomfort in different body and palmar regions. It was noticeable that there was a significant difference between the physical and physiological factors before and after weaving (p<0.05). SI priority scores revealed that the working posture during carpet weaving requires necessary action and hand tools should be redesigned. As the main outcomes, this study assesses the ergonomic aspects and proposes certain guidelines to design ergonomically efficient work system that may reduce the symptoms of CTD among weavers. This was the first study of its kind to provide palmar surface discomfort regions and assess static muscle strength in weaving profession.
Keywords: cumulative trauma disorders; carpal tunnel syndrome; carpet weaving; static muscle strength; physiological factors; work system guidelines; strain index (SI).
Assessment of Low Cost Tool Intervention among Carpet Alignment Workers Exposed to Hand-Arm Vibration and Shift in Hearing Threshold
by Ashish Kumar Singh, Makkhan Lal Meena, Himanshu Chaudhary
Abstract: Background: Before any repairing work is done on the carpet, its alignment is essential to be carried out.rnObjective: The aim of the study was to determine and assess the hand arm vibration (HAV), noise exposure, and loss in hearing threshold due to the hand tools used in carpet alignment. The effect of new handles on the transmissibility of HAV was tested. rnMethods: The data about HAV and noise level were collected from ten experienced male subjects. A case-control study was conducted to compare the hearing threshold and hand grip effort among the workers with a control group. The usability of the prototype handles was evaluated using the system usability scale (SUS). We used interviews, questionnaires, Strain Index (SI) score sheets, Borg scale, photography, and videos to analyze the perceptual effort and postural risks. rnResults: The estimate of daily vibration exposure, A(8) for prototypes tools for both the hands indicated reduction by over 26% when compared to the conventional tools. Mean equivalent sound pressure level (Leq) was quiet high (97.62dB), exceeding the exposure limit of 90dB (A). In agreement with dose consumed, exposed workers exhibits mild to moderate hearing impairment in the frequency range of 1500-6000 Hz with the loss in grip strength. SI score revealed that the intensity of exertion and the current working posture requires urgent action.rnConclusion: As the main outcomes, a low cost intervention was found effective in curtailing HAV during the field testing. The noise level while working with conventional tools was observed above risk levels when compared with IS 7194:1994 standards. The other contribution of the study is to suggest that the implementation of hearing conservation programmes and practice of personal protective equipments could prevail over hearing impairment among workers.
Keywords: Carpet alignment; Hand Arm Vibration (HAV); Noise exposure; Hearing threshold; Strain Index (SI); hand tool intervention; ergonomics; low frequency vibrations; non-powered hand tools.
INVESTIGATION OF OCCUPATIONAL WHOLE-BODY VIBRATION (WBV) EXPOSURE AMONG INDIAN TRACTOR DRIVERS
by Amandeep Singh, Lakhwinder Pal Singh, Sarbjit Singh, Harwinder Singh, Chander Prakash
Abstract: The purpose of present study is to investigate whole body vibration (WBV) exposure among Indian tractor drivers. Ten (10) male subjects are randomly selected with an at least five-year experience in tractor driving. Three RPM levels (i.e. 1500, 2000 & 2500) are considered for conducting on-road experiments. Out of ten subjects, nine (9) participated in carrying out the harrowing operation at two RPM levels (i.e. 1500 and 2000). Vibration dose value (VDV), root mean square (RMS) weighted acceleration (Aw), Daily dose (VDVexp), daily exposure A(8), seat effective amplitude transmissibility (SEATvdv%) and 1/3rd octave band analysis are assessed to examine the effect of WBV exposures. The VDVexp responses are found to exceed exposure values at the selected RPM levels as recommended by ISO 2631-1 1997. The seat effective amplitude transmissibility (SEATvdv%) showed poor vibration isolation capacity of the tractor seat. In addition, SEATvdv% is significant at 5% level with respect to body mass index (BMI) of subjects. The daily exposure A(8) responses at selected RPM levels are exceeding recommended exposure limits as per ISO 2631-1 1997. Moreover, A(8) found to be significant at 5% level for both RPM levels. The 1/3rd octave band analysis for both on-road and harrowing operation depicted critical frequencies between 3.15-4 Hz and 8-10 Hz respectively. These critical frequencies could cause discomfort due to existing natural frequencies of various body parts. It is concluded that the Indian tractor drivers require better quality of isolated seats in order to overcome high WBV exposures and critical frequencies.
Keywords: Ride comfort; Whole body vibration (WBV); Daily dose value (VDVexp); Daily exposure value A(8); Transmissibility; 1/3rd octave band analysis.
Safety Index: A systematic approach to measure the level of occupational safety in manufacturing industry
by Lakhwinder Pal Singh, Satnam Singh
Abstract: Despite the advancement in technology, workplace safety in the industry still needs a significant attention. The objective of this study is to develop a new safety index, termed as OSEA index (Occupational Safety Evaluation Approach). Delphi method is used to devise the index which can be used to measure the level of occupational safety of workers in medium-sized iron and steel manufacturing industry of Punjab. This approach considered 40 factors that were validated with content validity index (CVI). The ideal value of OSEA obtained is 21.07 which is further used for evaluating and mapping the current level of occupational safety of workers in industry. In order to estimate OSEA, a questionnaire-based survey was conducted in 30 medium sized manufacturing industries (MSMI) of Punjab. The results revealed that the OSEA index of MSMI lies in the range of 8.90 - 17.79. Moreover, it is concluded that OSEA index is a useful tool to measure the existing level of occupational safety of workers in the industry, which can be implemented to assess the level of workplace safety.
Keywords: content validity index (CVI); Delphi method; medium sized manufacturing industries (MSMI); occupational safety level; OSEA; safety index (SI).
Risk Perception and Emotions Regulation Strategies in Driving Behaviour: An Analysis of the Self-reported Data of Adolescents and Young Adults
by Oronzo Parlangeli, Margherita Bracci, Stefano Guidi, Enrica Marchigiani, Alison M. Duguid
Abstract: Abstract: Preventive action is considered mandatory in many countries in attempts to reduce the loss of young lives and the human and social consequences of road accidents. In order to identify the psychological determinants which need to be taken into consideration in work with young people and to foster safe driving behaviour, this paper investigates the differences in driving behaviour between males and females in a sample of 490 participants between 14 and 30 years of age. Various factors were taken into account, such as risk-perception, emotion-regulation and sensation-seeking, in determining risk behaviour. The results indicate that the dangerous behaviours most frequently exhibited, are also those which are perceived as being less of a risk. There are however significant differences in age and gender, related to strategies used to regulate emotions and a tendency to impulsive behaviour. A profile emerges in which driving competence, that is the ability to drive without making errors, goes hand in hand with processes of psychological maturation related to emotional control. A low perception of the danger of some behaviours is linked to a tendency to seek out strong sensations and to impulsiveness. Girls would appear to proceed more rapidly in this maturation process of the various forms of self-control in that they tend to judge dangerous behaviour as being more risky. However, they do not differ from their male counterparts as far as the resources of attention management are concerned.
Keywords: Road safety; emotion regulation strategies; impulsivity; risk perception; risk behavior; adolescents; young adults.
A front- and rear-view assistant for older cyclists; evaluations on technical performance, user experience and behaviour
by Carola Engbers, Rosemary Dubbeldam, Niek Kamphuis, Stefanie De Hair-Buijsen, Frank Westerhuis, Jaap Buurke, Dick De Waard, Johannes Rietman
Abstract: The older cyclist is more prone to get cycling accidents than younger cyclists. To support the older cyclist, a rear- and front-view assistant were developed that warns the cyclist of approaching traffic. User tests to evaluate system performance, user-experience and effects on behaviour were performed with 20 older cyclists (>64 years) on a predefined route outdoors with and without support from both assistants. During this route, the cyclist was confronted with two controlled scenarios with an overtaking and an oncoming cyclist. The participants cycling behaviour was assessed by measuring lateral distance to the other cyclist, and distance maintained to the verge. The assistants had no effect on experienced mental workload. Both assistants received positive evaluations, although the rear-view assistant was experienced as more useful. Using the front-view assistant resulted in less lateral distance to the approaching oncoming cyclist, while the use of the rear-view assistant did not have effects on lateral distance.
Keywords: Assistance; cycling; ageing; safety; support; accidents; elderly; mental workload; acceptance; lateral position.
A Theoretical Model of Human-Automation Interaction Grounded in Resource Allocation Policy during Automated Driving
by Yusuke Yamani, William Horrey
Abstract: With the aim of enhanced safety and mobility, automated driving systems have already begun to allow drivers the ability to operate vehicles with reduced driver control. However, research in other professional domains of Human Factors indicates that automated systems of different types, purposes, and characteristics can often be used by human drivers counterproductively, leading to misuse or disuse of automation. This paper outlines characteristics of an integrative model of human-automation interaction (HAI) based on attentional resources and allocation policy in order to help guide the systematic research on issues related to automated driving. The model builds upon a human information-processing model (Wickens et al., 2013) and focuses on the effective allocation of attentional resources to different perceptual, cognitive, and response stages when interacting with varying types and levels of automation (Parasuraman et al., 2000). The closed-loop mechanism allows drivers to evaluate joint human-machine performance and modulate the allocation policy, which in turn is influenced by many other factors. The model can additionally account for two well-known phenomena in the literature of HAI, complacency and automation bias, and offers guidance of systematic research on drivers attentional state in automated driving systems.
Keywords: Automated Driving; Human-Automation Interaction; Attentional Resources; Information Processing; Attention Allocation; Multitasking.
Analysis of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders and Ergonomic Posture Assessment of Welders in Unorganized Sector: A Study in Jalandhar, India
by Manish Dev, Arvind Bhardwaj, Sarbjit Singh
Abstract: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are the major risk factors in the life of blue-collar workers. These disorders not only lead to their ill health but cause low productivity too. The current study was undertaken to investigate the risk factors of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and postural discomfort among welders working in unorganized manufacturing units in Jalandhar, India. A cross-sectional survey was carried out among 60 welders working in roadside manufacturing units to investigate the level of musculoskeletal disorders. Nordic Musculoskeletal Disorder questionnaire was used to investigate the WMSDs during last 12 months. The findings reveal that age, BMI, working hours and work experience have a significant association with WMSDs in some of the cases. Pain/Discomfort in neck and hand/wrist were the leading in upper body part whereas pain/discomfort in lower back was leading in the lower body part and the most commonly reported WMSDs among the respondents. Furthermore, RULA and REBA scores reveal that the population of welders is at more risk of developing WMSDs and working postures of welders are required to be changed immediately to reduce the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders and to ensure the physical and psychological well-being of welders.
Keywords: Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders; WMSDs; Posture; Welders; Rapid Upper Limb Assessment; RULA; Rapid Entire Body Assessment; REBA; Unorganized Sector.