Physical Ergonomics Risk Factor in offshore Processing Equipment Design

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

1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, Malaysia

*Corresponding author:

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.


Physical ergonomics, oil and gas, processing equipment, task analysis

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Human Factors & Ergonomics Journal (HFEJ), eISSN: 2590-3705  is the official Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Malaysia.  The journal is published on a biannual basis. HFEJ aims to address current research in the field of Ergonomics in addition to the broad coverage of cognitive ergonomics, user experience, physical ergonomics and others such as transportation, industrial design and industrial engineering. HFEJ is a member of, and subscribes to the principles of the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics), as such we only accept original work.