Summaries of Our Applied Research: Automobile Assembly
Summary: Musculoskeletal disorder risk was examined during the current assembly processes compared to that using a cantilever chair intervention tool. The results indicate in which regions of the vehicle the cantilever chair intervention tool was most effective at reducing the risk of low back and shoulder disorders. The cantilever chair was a good intervention in the front far reach region regardless of height, because it reduced spine loads and reduced normalized shoulder muscle activity. In the middle and close reach distance regions the cantilever chair caused spine loads to be reduced however other interventions would be necessary to reduce normalize shoulder muscle activity. In the back region of the vehicle the cantilever chair caused no change in spine loads and increased shoulder muscle activity, therefore it was not an effective intervention tool in this region.
Summary: The goal of this study was to quantify MSD exposure as a function of vehicle rotation angle and region during assembly tasks. The vehicle was divided into seven regions (3 interior, 2 underbody and 2 engine regions), representative of work areas during assembly. Exposure was assessed on the spine loads and posture, shoulder posture and muscle activity, neck posture and muscle activity, as well as wrist posture. Overall, rotation of the vehicle reduced MSD exposure. Seven of the nine regions studied had the most reduction is MSD exposure and subsequent MSD risk reduction at 45 degrees of rotation. Two of the seven regions had the most reduction in MSD exposure and subsequent MSD risk at 90 degrees of vehicle rotation.