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Potential analysis of coupled work-system design with ema and AnyBody models for ergonomic assessment

Project number: F 2435 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) Status: Completed Project

Description:

The ergonomic design of workplaces is a basic prerequisite for preventing musculoskeletal disorders. Digital human models (DHM) can help focusing a human centred workplace. However, the evaluation procedures of DHM are often limited. Biomechanical factors, such as the compression force of the lumbar spine, which can be regarded as a decisive factor of back pain, cannot be taken into account with these methods.

The aim of the project was to extend the ergonomic evaluation of ema with biomechanical parameters calculated in AnyBody. To verify the potential benefits, BAuA conducted an observational study of manual material handling tasks and compared the results to the computer simulations of ema and AnyBody.

The project showed that the coupling of an ergonomic and a biomechanical human model is feasible. Nevertheless, the computer-generated movements deviate to some extent from the human movements observed in the study. Based on the results it is likely, that the computer simulation overestimates the stresses in joints due to movement deviations. However, the movements of the trunk coincided well.

Coupling ergonomic and biomechanical models offers new possibilities for a detailed risk assessment. With this approach, not only postures and external forces can be taken into account, but also joint forces can be considered as potential risk factors.

Contact

Unit 2.3 "Human Factors, Ergonomics"

Phone: +49 231 9071-1971 Fax: +49 231 9071-2070

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