Title: Simplified procedure to analyse work posture of foundry men through the rapid upper limb assessment

Authors: G. Madhan Mohan, P.S.S. Prasad, V. Sudarmathi

Addresses: Department of Production Engineering, PSG College of Technology, Peelamedu, Coimbatore 641004, Tamil Nadu, India. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, PSG College of Technology, Peelamedu, Coimbatore 641004, Tamil Nadu, India. ' Department of Production Engineering, PSG College of Technology, Peelamedu, Coimbatore 641004, Tamil Nadu, India

Abstract: Foundries are considered to be among the most hazardous of manufacturing environments. Various foundry activities involve handling heavy objects such as moulds or castings. These activities may cause Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) due to improper work postures. In this paper, a biomechanics approach is proposed to evaluate the work posture and provide a safe working environment. This will help managers and supervisors in a foundry to decide on the optimal working environment. The Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA)-based biomechanics evaluation module of CATIA-V5 software is used for this purpose. For a given set of anthropometric data of a worker, work posture and load conditions, the current work posture of a typical grinding operation in a fettling shop is simulated to assess the stress distribution in the human body as well as joints. From these results, excessive stress intensity in workers| current work posture and load-carrying condition is observed. Alternative work postures are studied to fit ergonomically.

Keywords: foundry work; work posture; anthropometric data; RULA; rapid upper limb assessment; simulation; musculoskeletal disorders; MSD; biomechanics; safety; safe working; stress distribution; grinding; fettling; ergonomics; human factors.

DOI: 10.1504/IJENVH.2008.020664

International Journal of Environment and Health, 2008 Vol.2 No.2, pp.225 - 238

Published online: 08 Oct 2008 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article