Human Factors and Ergonomics Journal (HFEJ)

Volume 5, No. 1 (2020)

Published online on 1 June 2020


Physical Ergonomics Risk Factor in offshore Processing Equipment Design

Hafizul Hilmi MOHD NOOR1*, Raja Ariffin RAJA GHAZILLA1, Hwa Jen YAP1

Page 1 – 12   |   Vol. 5 No. 1 2020   |    Available online on 1 Jun 2020

Maintenance of offshore processing equipment is among critical aspects during design stages due to inevitable human intervention while performing the task. Physical ergonomics issue (PEI) within the equipment should be predetermined and mitigated during the early design process. The purposes of this study are to assess how maintenance tasks affect the physical ergonomics risk in processing equipment design and establish ergonomics factors in designing the equipment. First part of the study focused on the categorization of maintenance tasks involved in processing equipment. Three case studies were selected from Project A in the Malaysian region and Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA) tool was utilized to fragment the maintenance tasks. Second part was the assessment of maintenance tasks against 15 predetermined PEIs through an interview method. Consequences and mitigation plans for each PEI were evaluated to resolve the ergonomics issues. Qualitative analysis was performed to extract physical ergonomics factors for designing processing equipment. The assessment on the maintenance tasks summarized eight physical ergonomics risk factors: access space and reach area, bolting, trips and slips hazards, materials handling, personal protection, valves and controls configuration, work at height, and confined-space. The study explained that maintenance tasks for processing equipment exposed the PEI towards workers, and could be mitigated through eight physical ergonomics factors during early design stages.

Looked But Failed to See: The Role of Gender, Driver Types, Accident History, and Licence Tenure in Hazard Perception

Nor Diana MOHD MAHUDIN*1, Aqbal Hafiz Izuddin ABD HAMID2, Asmaa’ Athirah ZULKIFLI1, and Nurul Izzati Asyikin ZULKIFLY1

Page 13 – 22   |   Vol. 5 No. 1 2020   |    Available online on 1 Jun 2020

Hazard perception is a complex process and a better understanding of the salient contributing factors for its failure could improve the existing hazard perception tests, policies, and training programmes. However, extant literature has not tackled this issue sufficiently. Using the predictive hazard perception paradigm, this study compares motorcycle hazard perception scores and total hazard perception scores of 67 participants based on gender (male, female), driver types (car drivers, dual drivers), accident history (had accident, no accident), and licence tenure (one year or less, two years, three years, four years, five years or more). The results demonstrate that males (M = 5.96, SD = .98) scored higher on the overall hazard perception task than females (M = 5.23, SD = 1.12), t(65) = 2.64, p = .01, Cohen’s d = .69. In addition, the interaction effects between gender and driver types (F(1, 67) = 3.90), indicate that higher total hazard perception scores are obtained from male participants who are dual drivers. All other comparisons are not statistically significant. Possible explanations of the results are discussed and recommendations for improving the existing hazard perception tests, licensing policies, and training programmes are offered.

Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorder (WRMSD): Findings Among Employees of a Healthcare Research Institute

Pei Pei Heng1, Nur Izzati. T1, Kuang Hock Lim1, Balvinder Singh Gill 1,  Mohd Yusoff. A2

Page 23 – 30   |   Vol. 5 No. 1 2020   |    Available online on 1 Jun 2020

Work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WRMSD) is a universal problem that varies across professions. It has been recognized as the most common and difficult occupational health issue by literature. This study aimed to examine the prevalence of self-reported positive WRMSD symptoms and its associated risk factors among healthcare personnel in research institute in Malaysia. All staffs from the major research institute were invited to participate in the study. A pre-validated self-administered Medical History and Symptoms Survey Checklist from Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety was adapted as a study tool. Data was analyzed using SPSS 20.0 employing descriptive analysis and multivariable logistic regression. The response rate was 82% (516/630). Almost half of the respondents reported neck (48.7%), shoulder (54.2%), upper back (42.2%) and lower back pain (47%) which lasted at least two days in the past year. Multivariable logistic regression substantiated prolonged computer use was significantly more likely to cause neck pain (aOR 2.63, 95%CI 1.32-5.63), shoulder pain (aOR 2.87, 95%CI 1.44-5.74), and lower back pain (aOR 2.97, 95%CI 1.14-5.63); while respondents with abnormally high body mass index (BMI) were more likely to report lower limb pain (aOR 0.57, 95%CI 0.36-0.92). Substantial proportion of high risk employees exposed to the workplace ergonomics hazard was identified therefore specific tailored preventive and rehabilitation measures is of paramount importance to ensure the ergonomics wellness among employees.

Ergonomics intervention for Oriented Strand Board and Aircraft Panels Lifting and Carrying Activities of Waterjet Production in Aircraft Industry

W.N.F. W Mahmod 1, Ummi Noor Nazahiah ABDULLAH1,2, Norashiken OTHMAN1,2

Page 31 – 40   |   Vol. 5 No. 1 2020   |    Available online on 1 Jun 2020

This paper is proposing an ergonomics intervention for lifting and carrying Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and aircraft panels in waterjet production of the aircraft industry. Previously, REBA and MAC tool was applied to assess the ergonomics risks among the waterjet production operators. REBA results showed that the main body area that exposed to awkward posture and forceful exertion is neck, trunk and coupling arm and MAC assessment results revealed the pain source was due to heavy load during lifting and carrying activities. The objective of this study to propose an ergonomics intervention of lifting and carrying mechanisms to reduce the neck, trunk and coupling risk among the operators in waterjet production. The user experiences and results from REBA and MAC assessment were translated into measurable design parameters before establishing the design specification and its house of quality (HoQ). Then, a morphology chart was developed to analyse the specification solutions. Next, four concepts were produced based on the HoQ and morphology chart and the Pugh method were applied to choose the best possible concept. Finally, the anthropometric analysis, parametric calculation, material selection and geometrical study were conducted to detail the design before it was tested using the Human Digital Modeling (HDM). HDM results showed that the neck and trunk pain area became green while the coupling pain area remains red. In future, the physical evaluation is suggested to assess the usability of the mechanism design and improve the design to reduce the risk level in coupling area.

Ergonomic Hazard Among Army Ammunition and Explosives Technician

Mohamad Fitri ABDUL HALIM1 , Dian D.I DARUIS2

Page 41 – 51   |   Vol. 5 No. 1 2020   |    Available online on 1 Jun 2020

Researches in relation to exposure to ergonomic hazards at the workplace are typically carried out due to their benefits on work productivity and quality. The job specifications of an ammunition technician (JTP) hint a high risk of musculoskeletal disorders when handling ammunition and explosives of the army (TD) inventory, especially in storing, maintenance, repair and disposal via destruction. This is because these tasks involve manual handling dan heavy lifting of loads between 20 kg and 40 kg in mass. These ergonomic hazards can result in musculoskeletal disorders among JTPs after a certain exposure time. This research aims to identify the ergonomic hazard present in the work environment of JTPs via Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), observation of fieldwork, survey and risk assessment in accordance to Guidelines on Ergonomic Risk Assessment At Workplace 2017 published by Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Malaysia (DOSHM). A group of 31 JTPs from three different TD camps was the subjects of this research. After the assessment was carried out, the results showed the body parts experiencing musculoskeletal pain symptoms were the hip (100%), right shoulder (81%) and left shoulder (66%).

Design Improvement of Auditorium Seating: A Case Study at Pagoh Education Hub

Alycia Yap Ching Hui1 , Salwa Mahmood1 , Tengku Nur Azila Raja Mamat1

Page 52 – 59   |   Vol. 5 No. 1 2020   |    Available online on 1 Jun 2020

This study is concerned about the auditorium seating design based on the ergonomics concept. Ergonomics is the science of fitting the product to its users or fitting the job to the worker. This study is carried out at Pagoh Education Hub Shared Facility Auditorium. The main objective of this study is to assess the ergonomics posture of users using auditorium’s seating. The poor design of furniture may possibly cause incorrect posture which will further lead to health problems such as back pain and spinal distortion. The Kinovea software is utilized to measure the posture. Each measurement of different body part posture is assessed by using Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA) in order to indicate the risk level of the auditorium’s seating. The REBA score of the existing auditorium’s seating is 7 indicating medium risk which requires further study for improvement. The second objective of this study is to redesign the auditorium’s seating based on the ergonomics concept. The proposed design of auditorium’s seating uses SolidWorks software by referring to the guideline from the Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Ministry of Human Resources Malaysia (DOSH). The desired features such as headrest and armrest are added to the proposed design. The REBA score of the proposed seat design is 3 which indicate significant improvement compared to REBA score of the current design, in terms of ergonomics factors.

The Critical Variables for The Risk Assessment Associated with Pushing and Pulling Activities in the Workplace: A Survey Among OSH Practitioners

T.S Hari Krishnan1,* , Mohd Nasrull Abdol Rahman1

Page 60 – 68   |   Vol. 5 No. 1 2020   |    Available online on 1 Jun 2020

Pushing and pulling (PP) activities were initially introduced into the workplace to reduce exerting too much force during lifting and lowering, given it exposed workers to other health ailments due to the complexity associated with these activities. However, while some assessment tools are available and are used to assess PP activities, they neglect to address the main risk factors associated with PP activities. Therefore, in order to understand the risk factors associated with PP activities from an occupational safety and health (OSH) practitioner’s perspective, in this study, an online survey was undertaken involving OSH practitioners from respective organizations in gaining further insight into some of the issues. The variables of the study were selected based on the value of the mode as more significant compared to the value of the median for each variable. From a total of 23 variables, eleven variables (47.8%) (handle height, handgrip, load magnitude, frequency, distance, present of coworkers, posture, task duration, floor conditions, congestion in the workplace, and the age of workers) were found to be essential variables to include in performing a risk assessment of PP related activities. Noticeably, many of these variables are not currently incorporated or available in risk assessment tools. Therefore, a new assessment tool for PP activities should be developed by considering the input of OSH practitioners.

Vehicle Occupant Accommodation Based on Representative Anthropometry

Kassim Abdulrahman Abdullah1 , Muhammad Uba Abdulazeez1b, Waleed Fekry Faris2 , Sheikh Jobe3

Page 69 – 98   |   Vol. 5 No. 1 2020   |    Available online on 1 Jun 2020

TextaDigital human modelling (DHM) offers a way of representing the intended vehicle users and task requirements using their anthropometric dimensions and computer graphics. This helps in avoiding the need for early user trials leading to a massive time-saving. Also, this enables the early consideration of human factors issues in the vehicle design process thereby decreasing the possibility of costly and impractical adjustments at the advanced vehicle development phases. An ergonomic automotive seat suitable for the Nigerian population was designed using CATIA V5 software based on proposed seat dimensions from our previous study. This work seeks to evaluate the suitability of the proposed seat and SAE J1100 vehicle package dimensions for the Nigerian population based on their anthropometry. Six custom-built Nigerian manikins were postured as drivers and passengers in a vehicle package based on CATIA V5 Human Builder vehicle occupant accommodation and another seven manikins were positioned on the seat designed for the Nigerian population. Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) ergonomic analysis conducted on all the manikins in the vehicle package both as drivers and passengers’ showed that the SAE J1100 package dimensions are unsuitable for the Nigerian population with overall RULA scores between 3 to 6 for drivers and 4 to 5 for passengers. The choice of transmission type and an enhanced seat height were found to provide improved body and postural comfort for the Nigerian driver population with a difference of 1 to 3 in the final RULA scores. However, an improved seat height was found not to give enhanced body and postural comfort for most of the Nigerian passenger population due to the effects of other SAE J1100 package dimensions with uniform overall RULA scores of 4 and 5. Finally, the seat designed for the Nigerian population proved to fit and accommodate them comfortably with acceptable RULA scores of 2 for all the seven Nigerian manikins analyzed.

Ergonomic Risk Assessment Among Production Operators at Food Processing Industries : A Review

Nurul Elyna Asyiqen Mohd Zaki1, Mohd Nasrull Abdol Rahman2*, Mazlina Kamarudzaman3

Page 99 – 102   |   Vol. 5 No. 1 2020   |    Available online on 1 Jun 2020

Ergonomic risk factors is defined as the design of the workplace, equipment, machine, tool, product, environment and system, taking into consideration the human’s physical, physiological, biomechanical and psychological capabilities and optimizing the effectiveness and productivity of work systems while assuring the safety, health and wellbeing of the workers. In general, the aim in ergonomics is to fit the task to the individual, not the individual to the task. The aim of this study is to understand the impact of ergonomics risk factor among production operators at the food processing industries. This review evaluates selected papers in manufacturing industries that have studied risk factors of musculoskeletal symptoms among manufacturing operators. Furthermore, other related industry studies have been reviewed as applicable. To understand the risk factors of musculoskeletal symptoms among manufacturing operators, it is recommended that future studies be required to assess these risk factors among manufacturing operators.