Identifying Less Stressful Work Methods: Computer-aided Simulation vs. Human Subject Study
Engineering analyses of work methods can help identify approaches to reduce the risk of occupational injuries; computer-aided simulation technology is effective in terms of time and cost for evaluating multiple work methods. This paper analyzed scaffolding, a common activity in construction with high frequency of overexertion injuries, through a computer simulation model (3DSSPP) to identify less stressful work strategies. A laboratory study was also performed to verify the appropriateness of using the model for scaffolding job analyses. Seven commonly used end-frame lifting techniques were evaluated. Computer simulations of these work techniques show that considerable biomechanical stress occurs to most of the workers at their shoulders and elbows. A symmetric front-lifting at knuckle height appears to be the less stressful work technique, as determined by computer simulation.