Integrating Physical Load Exposure Calculations and Recommendations

Lars Hanson, Dan Högberg, Aitor Iriondo Pascual, Anna Brolin, Erik Brolin & Mikael Lebram (2022). Integrating Physical Load Exposure Calculations and Recommendations in Digitalized Ergonomics Assessment Processes. Advances in Transdisciplinary Engineering. Volume 21: SPS2022, pp. 233-239.

The type of ergonomics assessment methods typically used in digital human modelling (DHM) tools and automated assessment processes were rather developed to be used by ergonomists to assess ergonomics by observing the characteristics of the work. Direct measurement methods complement observation methods. Direct measurement methods have a design that suits being implemented into DHM tools. A drawback of direct measurement methods is that they traditionally do not include action levels. However, action levels in direct measurement methods have recently been suggested. The aim of this paper is to illustrate how these recent physical load exposure calculations and recommendations can be integrated in a DHM tool and in an automated assessment process. A demonstrator solution was developed that inputs exposure data from simulations in the DHM tool IPS IMMA as well as exposure data that originate from tracking real workers’ motions, using the motion capture system Xsens MVN. The demonstrator was applied in two use cases: one based on predicted human motions and one based on captured human motions. In the demonstrator, head posture, upper left and right arm posture and velocity, as well as left and right wrist velocity were calculated. Exposure data were compared with action levels, and extreme action levels were indicated by colouring the information. The results are promising, and the demonstrator illustrates that it is possible to follow the trends in Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0 to automate and digitalize ergonomics assessment processes in industry. Access publication.