One of the primary goals of computer-aided ergonomics is to develop software tools that allow ergonomics information to be accessed at the earliest stages of design. This case study discusses a PC-based software program that allows a designer to quantify a worker's biomechanical risk for injury based on a proposed workplace design. The program couples an established software tool for biomechanical analysis, the Three-Dimensional Static Strength Prediction Program (3DSSPP), with a widely used computer-aided design software package, AutoCAD. The use of this '3DSSPP/AutoCAD interface' in the proactive analysis of an automotive assembly task is described and the results compared with an independent assessment using observations of workers performing the same task. Both studies yield similar conclusions, suggesting that proactive use of software such as the 3DSSPP/AutoCAD interface may be a valid tool in evaluating proposed workplace designs. In this context, issues in the analysis of workplace designs regarding the use of supporting ergonomic tools, assumptions, and posture selection are discussed. Copyright (C) 2000.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The Ford Motor Company provided financial support for this work. Special thanks to Chuck Wooley at the Center for Ergonomics for his assistance with the 1990 study.
- Computer-aided design (CAD)
- Workplace design