A field methodology for ergonomic analysis in occupational manual materials handling

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A methodology is presented for the 'on-site' evaluation of work-related physical activities. In a first session, video recordings were made of six industrial plant workers during their routine occupational tasks. Heart rate (HR) and subjective perception of effort were monitored. The video recordings were then analysed with appropriate software to determine the musculoskeletal load ('Vision 3000', Promatek, Montreal) and to evaluate energy expenditure ('Energy', University of Michigan). The indirect estimates of energy expenditure were validated in a second session by monitoring the six subjects' oxygen consumption (VO2) during the same activities with a portable telemetric oxgen uptake analyser (Cosmed 'K2', Rome). No statistically significant differences were found between direct measurements of VO2 and the computerised estimates of energy expenditure. Biomechanical parameters obtained in the two sessions did not differ. Therefore, we conclude that the 'Energy' programme and the 'Vision 3000' program provide a fast and reliable profile of job requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-208
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1997


  • Biomechanical analysis
  • Energy expenditure
  • Manual materials handling
  • Musculoskeletal injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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