Title: Ergonomic assessment of a physical task using two different digital human modelling systems: a case study

Authors: Marisol Quintero-Duran; G. Paul

Addresses: CS Energy Brisbane Office, Lvl 2, HQ North Tower, 540 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006, Australia ' AITHM, James Cook University, Mackay Base Hospital, P.O. Box 5580, Mackay, Qld 4741, Australia

Abstract: The cost of occupational musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) causes a significant burden on the health system, and lower back pain (LBP) is associated with a substantial portion of MSDs. Australia has a high prevalence of MSDs for healthcare workers, such as nurses. Two digital human models (DHMs) Siemens JACK and imk EMA were used to investigate if hospital bed pushing, a simple task and hazard that is commonly associated with LBP, can be validly simulated and ergonomically assessed in a virtual environment. While JACK and EMA have implemented a range of common physical work assessment methods, the simulation of a dynamic task such as bed pushing remains a challenge. This research highlights limitations in the DHMs studied, and the need for further research in this area. In particular, the implementation of legacy two dimensional, low resolution ergonomic methods in an analytic, high resolution three dimensional software system is critically reflected.

Keywords: Siemens JACK; imk EMA; workload assessment; hospital bed; healthcare; nursing; pushing task; musculoskeletal disorder; MSD; physical workload; digital human model; DHM; virtual environment.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFMS.2018.096138

International Journal of Human Factors Modelling and Simulation, 2018 Vol.6 No.4, pp.298 - 313

Accepted: 14 May 2018
Published online: 13 Nov 2018 *

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