Title page for ETD etd-59462331119623650

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Honaker, Ronald E.
URN etd-59462331119623650
Title Assessing Trailer Material Handling Tasks: Biomechanical Modeling, Posture Categorization, Physiological Measure, and Subjective Rating
Degree Master of Science
Department Industrial and Systems Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kleiner, Brian M.
Koelling, Charles Patrick Committee Co-Chair
Kroemer, Karl H. E. Committee Co-Chair
  • material handling
  • biomechanics
  • OWAS
  • heart rate
  • rating of exertion
Date of Defense 1996-12-20
Availability unrestricted
Many variations of conveyor, facility, and trailer

designs are available to aid the human operator in

manual materials handling (MMH). This thesis

describes an investigation to determine which of

four different designs used in trailer MMH place

the least physical stress on the human operator

when unloading materials. Each trailer MMH

design was evaluated by the criteria of

biomechanical loading, working posture,

physiological measure, and subjective rating of

exertion. These four methods were used to

generate four dependent measures: L5/S1

Compression Force, OWAS Action Category,

mean heart rate, and Borg CR-10 RPE.

While no single assessment method provided a

clear means for quantifying level differences in

physical stress among MMH conditions, the

methods employed furnished insight into which

techniques and protocols might be useful in

studying similar working situations. Based on

relative sensitivity, ease of application, and

administrative and equipment costs, the OWAS

method was recommended as an assessment

method useful for evaluating similar MMH work.

The summary results of the four methods

provided information to meet the experimental

goals of this research and allowed conclusions to

be drawn for the major areas of interest.

Specifically, statistically significant differences

were found between the Drop-frame - Floor

Rollers condition and all other conditions in the

SSPM - Placement analysis, between the

Flat-floor - Power and the Drop-frame -

Suspended Rollers conditions in the OWAS -

Acquisition analysis, and between the Drop-frame

- Suspended Rollers and the Drop-frame - Floor

Rollers conditions in the OWAS - Placement


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