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  • 1.
    Ayas, Ebru
    et al.
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Ergonomics (Closed 20130701).
    Eklund, Jörgen
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Ergonomics (Closed 20130701).
    An Affective Engineering Assessment of a Hospital Bedding System Innovation2011In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Developing bedding products requires consideration of human-product interactions such as usability and quality aspects besides ergonomics and productivity. Previous studies focus on finding associations between discomfort evaluations and physiological measurements of conventional bedding. The purpose of this study is to assess a new bedding system by observing affective and discomfort perceptions, physical loads, and time usage by nursing personnel. Fourteen nursese valuated a conventional and a new bedding system. Results suggest that nurses’ quality perceptions and overall experiences with the new bedding were positive. Considering physical loads the average time and frequency of bending forward were significantly lower for the new bedding versus conventional bedding. The time analysis yielded significant improvements to make a bed with the new bedmaking system. Quality perceptions were associated with tactile qualities (e.g. soft, nice to touch, etc.) and applicability (e.g. quick setup) for both bedmaking systems.

  • 2.
    Ayas, Ebru
    et al.
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Ergonomics.
    Eklund, Jörgen
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Ergonomics.
    Ishihara, Shigekazu
    Affective engineering evaluation of non-linear trigger switch mechanisms2011In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The trigger switch mechanisms of nutrunners are important for operators to perceive feedback while tightening bolt joints. Previous studies focus on associations between discomfort evaluations and powered tool operation. This paper addresses how operator preferences are linked with functionality requirements from trigger switch mechanisms. Subjects evaluated five switch mechanism prototypes regarding perceptions of quality, feedback, firmness, and distinctness. Results suggest that loading and unloading phases of trigger operation are significant predictors of perceptions of quality. The trigger switch mechanism with a combination of high peak-drop-bottom forces was perceived with better quality, feedback, and distinctness in comparison to the other mechanisms. The study also revealed that when the switch mechanism was designed to give more distinctness and feedback, higher quality is perceived.

  • 3. Cocron, P.
    et al.
    Neumann, I.
    Kreußlein, M.
    Wanner, Daniel
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering.
    Bierbach, M.
    Krems, J. F.
    Regenerative braking failures in battery electric vehicles and their impact on the driver2018In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 71, p. 29-37Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A unique feature of battery electric vehicles (BEV) is their regenerative braking system (RBS) to recapture kinetic energy in deceleration maneuvers. If such a system is triggered via gas pedal, most deceleration maneuvers can be executed by just using this pedal. This impacts the driving task as different deceleration strategies can be applied. Previous research has indicated that a RBS failure leading to a sudden reduced deceleration represents an adverse event for BEV drivers. In the present study, we investigated such a failure's impact on the driver's evaluation and behavior. We conducted an experiment on a closed-off test track using a modified BEV that could temporarily switch off the RBS. One half of the 44 participants in the study received information about an upcoming RBS failure whereas the other half did not. While 91% of the drivers receiving prior information noticed the RBS failure, only 48% recognized it in the “uniformed” group. In general, the failure and the perception of its occurrence influenced the driver's evaluation and behavior more than receiving prior information. Nevertheless, under the tested conditions, drivers kept control and were able to compensate for the RBS failure. As the participants drove quite simple maneuvers in our experiment, further studies are needed to validate our findings using more complex driving settings. Given that RBS failures could have severe consequences, appropriate information and warning strategies for drivers are necessary.

  • 4.
    Dellve, Lotta
    et al.
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH). Gothenburg University, Sweden.
    Strömgren, Marcus
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Williamsson, Anna
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Holden, Richard J.
    School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University, Indianapolis, US.
    Eriksson, Andrea
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Health care clinicians' engagement in organizational redesign of care processes: Health care clinicians' engagement in organizational redesign of care processes2018In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 68, p. 249-257Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Swedish health care system is reorienting towards horizontal organization for care processes. A main challenge is to engage health care clinicians in the process. The aim of this study was to assess engagement (i.e. attitudes and beliefs, the cognitive state and clinical engagement behaviour) among health care clinicians, and to investigate how engagement was related to work resources and demands during organizational redesign. A cohort study was conducted, using a questionnaire distributed to clinicians at five hospitals working with care process improvement approaches, two of them having implemented Lean production. The results show that kinds of engagement are interlinked and contribute to clinical engagement behaviour in quality of care and patient safety. Increased work resources have importance for engagements in organizational improvements, especially in top-down implementations. An extended work engagement model during organizational improvements in health care was supported. The model contributes to knowledge about how and when clinicians are mobilized to engage in organizational changes.

  • 5. Eklund, Jörgen
    Development work for quality and ergonomics2000In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 31, no 6, p. 641-648Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Employee participation in the development and improvement of their own work activities and daily production tasks has been strongly emphasised by the quality movement. From this point of view, the quality perspective, and in particular development work, are supportive of improved working conditions and ergonomics. This paper proposes a classification of development work in relation to participative problem solving. Further, the introduction of development work was found from a theoretical point of view to be consistent with improvement in the characteristics that represent good and rewarding work. Several empirical studies in the field confirm that improvements in work and company performance take place as a result. There is also criticism of development work, which largely focuses on the difficulties of integrating such concepts into organisational structures and of making developments long-lasting. In addition, stress, intensification of work and increased pressure are also mentioned as possible harmful outcomes. It is concluded that the development work concept is an important innovation with great potential, but the organisational models and applications need to be further developed for the future.

  • 6.
    Eklund, Jörgen
    et al.
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Ergonomics.
    Kihlstedt, Annika
    Engkvist, Inga-Lill
    Sorting and disposing of waste at recycling centres: A users perspective2010In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 41, no 3, p. 355-361Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper investigates Swedish recycling centres from the users' perspective. The aim was to describe the characteristics and experiences of the users and their activities when sorting and disposing of waste, and to identify improvements for the users. The typical recycling centre user is a recently retired man, living in a house with a garden, having travelled 5 km alone in his own car. The users requested longer opening hours and better information available at home and at the recycling centre. The major difficulty for the users is to understand which fraction their waste belongs to, and consequently into which container they should throw it. The most important sources of sorting information, in addition to experience from earlier visits, are signs and asking the personnel. Although the service at recycling centres is perceived positively by a majority of users. substantial improvements can still be made, and a number of such suggestions are given.

  • 7.
    Eliasson, Kristina
    et al.
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Palm, P.
    Nyman, Teresia
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Forsman, M.
    Inter - and intra - observer reliability of risk assessment of repetitive work without an explicit method2017In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 62, p. 1-8Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A common way to conduct practical risk assessments is to observe a job and report the observed long term risks for musculoskeletal disorders. The aim of this study was to evaluate the inter- and intra-observer reliability of ergonomists' risk assessments without the support of an explicit risk assessment method. Twenty-one experienced ergonomists assessed the risk level (low, moderate, high risk) of eight upper body regions, as well as the global risk of 10 video recorded work tasks. Intra-observer reliability was assessed by having nine of the ergonomists repeat the procedure at least three weeks after the first assessment. The ergonomists made their risk assessment based on his/her experience and knowledge. The statistical parameters of reliability included proportional agreement, kappa, linearly weighted kappa, intraclass correlation and Kendall's coefficient of concordance. The average inter-observer proportional agreement of the global risk was 53% and the corresponding weighted kappa was 0.32, indicating fair reliability. The intra-observer agreement was 61% and 0.41. This study indicates that risk assessments of the upper body, without the use of an explicit observational method, have non-acceptable reliability. It is therefore recommended to use systematic risk assessment methods to a higher degree.

  • 8.
    Eliasson, Kristina
    et al.
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Palm, Peter
    Nyman, Teresia
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH). Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Uppsala University and Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden.
    Forsman, Mikael
    Inter- and Intra-Observer Reliability of Risk Assessment of Repetitive Work without an Explicit MethodIn: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 9. Engkvist, I. L.
    et al.
    Eklund, Jörgen
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Ergonomics.
    Krook, J.
    Björkman, M.
    Sundin, E.
    Svensson, R.
    Eklund, M.
    Joint investigation of working conditions, environmental and system performance at recycling centres: Development of instruments and their usage2010In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 41, no 3, p. 336-346Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recycling is a new and developing industry, which has only been researched to a limited extent. This article describes the development and use of instruments for data collection within a multidisciplinary research programme "Recycling centres in Sweden - working conditions, environmental and system performance". The overall purpose of the programme was to form a basis for improving the function of recycling centres with respect to these three perspectives and the disciplines of: ergonomics, safety, external environment, and production systems. A total of 10 instruments were developed for collecting data from employees, managers and visitors at recycling centres. including one instrument for observing visitors. Validation tests were performed in several steps. This, along with the quality of the collected data, and experience from the data collection, showed that the instruments and methodology used were valid and suitable for their purpose.

  • 10.
    Engkvist, Inga-Lill
    et al.
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics. Linköping University, Sweden.
    Eklund, Jögen
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics. Linköping University, Sweden.
    Krook, J.
    Björkman, M.
    Sundin, E.
    Perspectives on recycling centres and future developments2016In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 57, no SI, p. 17-27Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The overall aim of this paper is to draw combined, all-embracing conclusions based on a long-term multidisciplinary research programme on recycling centres in Sweden, focussing on working conditions, environment and system performance. A second aim is to give recommendations for their development of new and existing recycling centres and to discuss implications for the future design and organisation. Several opportunities for improvement of recycling centres were identified, such as design, layout, ease with which users could sort their waste, the work environment, conflicting needs and goals within the industry, and industrialisation. Combining all results from the research, which consisted of different disciplinary aspects, made it possible to analyse and elucidate their interrelations. Waste sorting quality was recognized as the most prominent improvement field in the recycling centre system. The research identified the importance of involving stakeholders with different perspectives when planning a recycling centre in order to get functionality and high performance. Practical proposals of how to plan and build recycling centres are given in a detailed checklist.

  • 11. Fernström, E
    et al.
    Ericson, Mats O
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Ergonomics.
    Computer mouse or Trackpoint--effects on muscular load and operator experience.1997In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 28, no 5-6, p. 347-54Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the study was to evaluate four different modes of human-computer interaction. The modes were: use of the keyboard alone as input device, use of keyboard and mouse, use of keyboard and mouse with a three-dimensional arm support, and use of a keyboard with a Trackpoint device in its centre. Ten women and 10 men volunteered to participate. Questions asked were whether working in the different modes influenced shoulder and forearm muscular load differently during word processing, and how much strain on the neck, shoulder and arms subjects perceived in the different modes. Muscular load was studied with electromyography in three shoulder muscles and three forearm muscles. The subjects also rated the different modes in one questionnaire concerning perceived strain and in one concerning preference for any of the modes tested. Intra-individual analysis for each muscle and mode showed two possible ways of decreasing the strain from computer mouse work on the shoulder muscles--either to use Trackpoint or to use the mouse combined with the movable arm support. However, both of these computer-interaction modes increased the muscular load in the hand and forearm.

  • 12. Hemphala, Hillevi
    et al.
    Kihlstedt, Annika
    Eklund, Jörgen
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Ergonomics.
    Vision ergonomics at recycling centres2010In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 41, no 3, p. 368-375Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    All municipalities in Sweden offer their inhabitants a service for disposing of large-size and hazardous waste at local recycling centres. Opening hours at these centres include hours of darkness. The aims of this study were to 1) describe user and employee experiences of lighting and signs at Swedish recycling centres, 2) measure and assess the lighting system at the two recently built recycling centres in Linkoping and to assess the legibility and visibility of the signs used and 3) propose recommendations regarding lighting and signs for recycling centres. Interviews and questionnaires were used to assess experiences of employees and users, and light measurements were performed. By observing users, activities with different visual demands at different areas within the recycling centres were identified. Based on the literature, standards and stakeholder experiences, recommendations regarding lighting systems and sign design, illuminance, luminance and uniformity are proposed for recycling centres.

  • 13. Hemphälä, Hillevi
    et al.
    Eklund, Jörgen
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Ergonomics.
    A visual ergonomics intervention in mail sorting facilities: Effects on eyes, muscles and productivity2012In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 43, no 1, p. 217-229Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Visual requirements are high when sorting mail. The purpose of this visual ergonomics intervention study was to evaluate the visual environment in mail sorting facilities and to explore opportunities for improving the work situation by reducing visual strain, improving the visual work environment and reducing mail sorting time. Twenty-seven postmen/women participated in a pre-intervention study, which included questionnaires on their experiences of light, visual ergonomics, health, and musculoskeletal symptoms. Measurements of lighting conditions and productivity were also performed along with eye examinations of the postmen/women. The results from the pre-intervention study showed that the postmen/women who suffered from eyestrain had a higher prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and sorted slower, than those without eyestrain. Illuminance and illuminance uniformity improved as a result of the intervention. The two post-intervention follow-ups showed a higher prevalence of MSD among the postmen/women with eyestrain than among those without. The previous differences in sorting time for employees with and without eyestrain disappeared. After the intervention, the postmen/women felt better in general, experienced less work induced stress, and considered that the total general lighting had improved. The most pronounced decreases in eyestrain, MSD, and mail sorting time were seen among the younger participants of the group.

  • 14.
    Holden, Richard J
    et al.
    Department of BioHealth Informatics, Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
    Eriksson, Andrea
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Andreasson, Jörgen
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Williamsson, Anna
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Dellve, Lotta
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Healthcare workers' perceptions of lean: A context-sensitive, mixed methods study in three Swedish hospitals2015In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 46, p. 181-192Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As the application of lean in healthcare expands, further research is needed in at least two areas: first, on the role of context in shaping lean and its consequences and second, on how healthcare workers perceive lean. Accordingly, this context-sensitive, mixed methods study addressed how hospital workers' perceptions of lean varied across contexts in three Swedish hospitals. Registered nurses and physicians at the hospitals and across units differing in acuity completed standardized surveys (N = 236, 57% response rate) about their perceptions of hospital-wide lean implementation. Perceptions varied by: hospital context, with one hospital's employees reporting the least favorable perceptions; unit acuity, with higher-acuity units reporting more favorable perceptions; and professional role, with nurses reporting more favorable perceptions than physicians. Individual interviews, group interviews, and observations provided insight about these dissimilar contexts and possible explanations for context-specific variability. Findings are discussed with respect to strategies for implementing lean in healthcare; the importance of attending to levels, context, and worker consequences of lean; and directions for future research.

  • 15.
    Hägg, Göran M.
    et al.
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Runeson, Lotta
    Högskolan i Borås, Sweden.
    Adapting the force characteristics of a staple gun to the human hand2015In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 50, p. 133-138Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Three prototype staple guns with modified force characteristics were compared with a commercially available standard staple gun with a linearly increasing force resistance during squeezing. The force characteristics of the prototypes were more or less adapted to the force characteristics of the human hand, and in one of the staple guns the general force level was also reduced by one third. Evaluation instruments were electromyography of the forearm flexors and extensors, subjective rating of forearm exertion and subjects' free comments about the four tools. Twelve professional craftsmen were recruited as test subjects. The results show significantly lower readings for two of the three prototypes compared with the standard gun in electromyography as well as subjective ratings. The squeezing times are also reduced for two of the prototypes. It is concluded that the choice of force characteristics of a staple gun is important both to minimize forearm muscular exertion and to increase tool efficiency.

  • 16. Johansson, L.
    et al.
    Björing, Gunnar
    KTH, Superseded Departments, Industrial Economics and Management.
    Hägg, G. M.
    The effect of wrist orthoses on forearm muscle activity2004In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 35, no 2, p. 129-136Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A general hypothesis is that a wrist orthosis reduces the wrist extensor muscle load. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a completely stiff wrist orthosis (SO) and a commercially available wrist orthosis (CO) on flexor and extensor electromyographic (EMG)-activity in a standardised intermittent gripping task and during standardised manual work tasks. Surface EMG from two forearm flexor and two extensor muscles was recorded. The target grip forces were 5%, 20% and 40% of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). During the grip contraction phase CO had no effect on the ENIG-readings. SO resulted in higher EMG activity than when gripping with CO and with no orthosis (NO), especially when gripping with 40% MVC. During the relaxation phase neither CO nor SO had any effect on the extensors. For the flexors the SO gave higher ENIG-readings than when gripping with CO and NO, especially at 40% MVC. In conclusion the wrist orthoses tested did not reduce the EMG-activity from the flexors or the extensors during gripping or manual tasks.

  • 17. Karltun, J.
    et al.
    Vogel, Kjerstin
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Bergstrand, M.
    Eklund, Jörgen
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Maintaining knife sharpness in industrial meat cutting: A matter of knife or meat cutter ability2016In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 56, p. 92-100Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Knife sharpness is imperative in meat cutting. The aim of this study was to compare the impact of knife blade steel quality with meat cutters' individual ability to maintain the cutting edge sharp in an industrial production setting. Twelve meat cutters in two different companies using three different knives during normal production were studied in this quasi-experimental study. Methods included were measuring knife cutting force before and after knife use, time knives were used, ratings of sharpness and discomfort and interviews. Results showed that the meat cutters' skill of maintaining sharpness during work had a much larger effect on knife sharpness during work than the knife steel differences. The ability was also related to feelings of discomfort and to physical exertion. It was found that meat cutters using more knives were more likely to suffer from discomfort in the upper limbs, which is a risk for developing MSD.

  • 18.
    Larsson, Tore J
    et al.
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Centres, Centre for Health and Building, CHB.
    Horberry, Tim
    Accident Research Centre, Monash University, Australia.
    Johnston, Ian
    Accident Research Centre, Monash University, Australia.
    Lambert, John
    John Lambert & Associates, Australia.
    Forklift safety, traffic engineering and intelligent transport systems: a case study2004In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 35, no 6, p. 7p. 575-581Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper details a forklift safety demonstration project undertaken at two manufacturing sites in Victoria, Australia. The purpose of the work was both to help improve safety at the two sites, and, more broadly, to develop, help implement and evaluate a series of human-centred design interventions involving vehicles and pedestrian workers. The 'before' and 'after' case study presented here summarises the background to the research and introduces the test sites. Thereafter, it describes the overall nature of the safety interventions proposed and introduces the methods developed to assess safety. For the traffic engineering interventions, positive safety results were found in terms of reductions in the number of potentially hazardous interactions involving forklifts. Similarly, for the vehicle interventions, the research found that forklift drivers and managers considered the newly developed and installed Intelligent Transport Systems to be broadly acceptable in operational conditions, and the systems' intended safety benefits were well understood. The results are discussed and conclusions are drawn regarding human factors aspects of forklift safety.

  • 19. Lindegard, A.
    et al.
    Karlberg, C.
    Wigaeus Tornqvist, Ewa
    Toomingas, Allan
    Hagberg, M.
    Concordance between VDU-users' ratings of comfort and perceived exertion with experts' observations of workplace layout and working postures2005In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 36, no 3, p. 319-325Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the concordance (agreement) between VDU-users' ratings of comfort and ergonomists' observations of workplace layout, and the concordance between VDU-users' ratings of perceived exertion and ergonomists' observations of working postures during VDU-work. The Study population consisted of 853 symptom free subjects. Data on perceived comfort in different dimensions and data regarding perceived exertion in different body locations were collected by means of a questionnaire. Data concerning workplace layout and working postures were collected with an observation protocol, by an ergonomist. Concordance between ratings of comfort and observations of workplace layout was reasonably good for the chair and the keyboard (0.60, 0.58) and good regarding the screen and the input device (0.72, 0.61). Concordance between ratings of perceived exertion and observations of working Postures indicated good agreement (0.63-0.77) for all measured body locations (neck, shoulder, wrist and trunk). In conclusion ratings of comfort and perceived exertion could be used as cost-efficient and user-friendly methods for practitioners to identify high exposure to poor workplace layout and poor working postures. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • 20. Neumann, W. Patrick
    et al.
    Ekman, Marianne
    KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Industrial Work Science (closed 20130101).
    Winkel, Jorgen
    Integrating ergonomics into production system development - The Volvo Powertrain case2009In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 40, no 3, p. 527-537Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Understanding the barriers and assists to integrating ergonomics into production system design remains a research issue. An action research case study at Volvo Powertrain/Sweden was conducted. Researchers worked collaboratively with the firm in efforts to improve the company's ability to handle ergonomics in their daily work of improving and developing production systems. Researchers observed and reflected collectively on the change process using field notes and recordings to support their observations. Observed integration barriers included both individual level issues like life events, and organisational aspects such as communication barriers between groups or assignment of tasks to people not involved in decision-making. Observed assists included the 'political reflective navigation'(c.f. Broberg, O., Hermund, L, 2004. The OHS consultant as a 'political reflective navigator' in technological change processes. International journal of Industrial Ergonomics 33 (4), 315-326) by the project owner to find new ways to overcome barriers and anchor ergonomics into the organisation. While special 'ergonomics' groups did not survive long, progress was observed in including ergonomics in regular design groups. A cross-functional workshop that fostered discussion across organisational boundaries helped shift focus from retrofitting systems to future production systems and improve engagement of engineering teams. Progress was marked by both success and setbacks and full integration appears to require more than 2 years time. it is concluded that support by senior managers should include succession planning for personnel that are key to the change effort.

  • 21.
    Nord Nilsson, Lena
    et al.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems, Ergonomics.
    Vänje, Annika
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems, Ergonomics.
    Occupational safety and health professionals’ skills – A call for system understanding?: Experiences from a co-operative inquiry within the manufacturing sector2018In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 70, p. 279-287Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sector specific skills in occupational safety and health (OS&H) are crucial for being able to contribute to good work environment and decrease today's high levels of sick absences. Large manufacturing companies are due to tradition good at OS&H and can serve as an interesting context for investigating the knowledge level in the area today, and needs for the future. For this purpose a case study was performed in this sector as a co-operative inquiry, including 10 OS&H professionals (engineers and ergonomists) employed at in-house and external occupational health services (OHS). Professional experiences, good examples from practice and current research were shared jointly within the inquiry. The results show needs to work more preventively than today comprehending aspects as system understanding, integrated work teams, participation, a clear role in change projects plus skills in risk assessments. Skills in how to conduct well-functioning dialogues with stakeholders were also on the agenda.

  • 22.
    Norrbrand, Lena
    et al.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems, Environmental Physiology.
    Kölegård, Roger
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems, Environmental Physiology.
    Keramidas, Michail E.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems, Environmental Physiology.
    Mekjavic, Igor B.
    Department of Automation, Robotics and Biocybernetics, Jozef Stefan Institute.
    Eiken, Ola
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems, Environmental Physiology.
    Finger- and toe-temperature responses to local cooling and rewarming have limited predictive value identifying susceptibility to local cold injury – a cohort study in military cadets2019In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 23.
    Rolfö, Linda
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems, Ergonomics.
    Relocation to an activity-based flexible office: Design processes and outcomes2018In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 73, p. 141-150Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many organizations relocate to activity-based flexible offices (A-FOs) and the results are mixed. This study aims at identifying factors in the design and implementation process that contribute to perceived performance and environmental satisfaction with A-FOs.

    A company with 50 employees was studied using interviews, questionnaires and documentation before and after relocation. The results showed that process factors such as objectives, financial and time resources, employee participation and empowerment, and methodological approach contributed to the outcomes. Perceived performance and employee satisfaction with the physical environment increased significantly after the relocation. Employee empowerment, highlighted by the employees, correlated with the performance and satisfaction parameters.

    A conceptual model is proposed relating process factors, internal and external organizational context, and physical office setting to work condition consequences and overall outcomes such as employee performance and satisfaction.

  • 24. Rose, Linda
    et al.
    Ortengren, R
    Ericson, Mats
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Ergonomics.
    Endurance, pain and resumption in fully flexed postures.2001In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 32, no 5, p. 501-8Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study effects of low loads in fully flexed postures were investigated. Thirteen men who were unused to the postures participated. Thirteen professional construction workers with long experience of suchlike postures were also studied. Pain reactions during and after loading were observed, as well as endurance time and the recovery process, here by studying the resumption time. Endurance and resumption times differed little from those given by models used for more common postures. Pain from the legs and not from the back limited the working ability in 86% of the endurance tests. Thirdly, the construction workers had significantly longer endurance time and shorter resumption time.

  • 25. Schutte, S.
    et al.
    Eklund, Jörgen
    Design of rocker switches for work-vehicles - an application of Kansei Engineering2005In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 36, no 5, p. 557-567Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Rocker switches used in vehicles meet high demands partly due to the increased focus on customer satisfaction. Previous studies focused on ergonomics and usability rather than design for emotions and affection. The aim of this study was to determine how and to what extent engineering properties influence the perception of rocker switches. Secondary aims were to compare two types of rating scales and to determine consistency over time of the ratings. As a method Kansei Engineering was used, describing a product domain from a physical and semantic point of view. A model was built and validated, and recommendations for new designs were given. It was seen that the subjective impressions of robustness, precision and design are strongly influenced by the zero position, the contact position, the form-ratio, shape and the surface of rocker switches. A 7-point scale was found suitable. The Kansei ratings were consistent over time.

  • 26.
    Skagert, Katrin
    et al.
    Sahlgrenska Akademin, Göteborgs universitet.
    Dellve, Lotta
    Sahlgrenska akademin, Göteborgs universitet.
    Eklöf, Mats
    Sahlgrenska akademin, Göteborgs universitet.
    Ljung, Thomas
    Pousette, Anders
    Sahlgrenska Akademin, Göteborgs universitet.
    Ahlborg, Gunnar
    Sahlgrenska Akademin, Göteborgs universitet.
    Leadership and stress in public human service organisations: Acting shock absorber and sustaining own integrity2008In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 39, no 6, p. 803-811Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 27. Sundström, Jerker
    et al.
    Khan, Shafiguzzaman
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Railway Technology.
    Influence of stationary lateral vibrations on train passengers' ability to read and write2008In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 39, no 6, p. 710-718Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent studies on train passengers’ activities found that many passengers were engaged in some form of work, e.g. reading and writing, while traveling by train. A majority of the passengers reported that they were disturbed by vibrations or motions during their journey. A laboratory study was therefore set up to study how stationary low-frequency lateral vibrations influence the difficulty to read and write. The study involved 48 subjects (24f+24m) divided into three age groups. Two levels of sinusoidal vibrations were applied at nine discrete frequencies (0.8–8.0 Hz). Subjects performed both reading and writing tasks under two sitting positions (leaning against the backrest and leaning over a table). The judgments of perceived difficulty to read and write were rated using Borg's CR-100 scale. The results showed significant differences between the tasks and postural conditions. The subjects reported greater difficulty while reading and writing on the table than while leaning back. The frequencies up to 5 Hz had a particular influence on the perceived difficulty.

  • 28. Tucker, P.
    et al.
    Dahlgren, Anna
    Seafarers International Research Centre, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
    Akerstedt, T.
    Waterhouse, J.
    The impact of free-time activities on sleep, recovery and well-being2008In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 39, no 5, p. 653-662Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We compared the effects of different types of free-time activity on subjective and objective indices of sleep, recovery and well-being in an experimental field study. Twelve participants spent four consecutive evenings after work in each of three conditions: pursuing quiet leisure activities at home; undertaking active leisure pursuits; doing additional work. Ratings of rest and recuperation, and of satisfaction, were lowest in the additional work condition. There were few other differences between conditions. However, being satisfied with one's evening activities (regardless of which experimental condition was being undertaken) was associated with improved subsequent sleep (self-reported). Evening activities involving lower mental effort were also associated with better-rated sleep, as well as improved recuperation and fatigue the next day. It is concluded that the nature of activity per se may be less important than (1) whether the activity accords with individual preference and (2) the cumulative demands of daytime and evening activities.

  • 29. Törnström, Linda
    et al.
    Amprazis, Joakim
    Christmansson, Marita
    Eklund, Jörgen
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling (IEI).
    A corporate workplace model for ergonomic assessments and improvements2008In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 39, no 2, p. 219-228Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Several companies have developed their own company-specific models for ergonomic improvements. This study aims to describe and identify factors supporting and hindering the implementation and application of one such corporate model for ergonomic assessment and improvement. The model has been developed by Volvo Car Corporation and implemented at an assembly plant in Goteborg, Sweden. The model is unique as it is intended to be used by production engineers and safety representatives in cooperation. The process for assessment of musculoskeletal risks is standardised and participatory, which also supports identification of solutions. Interviews, questionnaires, observation and document studies were used to evaluate the use of the model. The model was found to improve participation and collaboration among stakeholders; provide a more effective ergonomic improvement process; visually represent the ergonomics situation in the company; and give legitimacy to and awareness of ergonomics. However, the model was found to be rather resource demanding and dependent on support from management and unions. In particular, a substantial training programme and regular use of the model are needed.

  • 30.
    Vogel, Kjerstin
    et al.
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Karltun, Johan
    Tekniska Högskolan i Jönköping.
    Eklund, Jörgen
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Engkvist, Inga-Lill
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Improving meat cutters' work: Changes and effects following an intervention2013In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 44, no 6, p. 996-1003Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Meat cutters face higher risks of injury and musculoskeletal problems than most other occupational groups. The aims of this paper were to describe ergonomics changes implemented in three meat cutting plants and to evaluate effects related to ergonomics on the individual meat cutters and their work. Data was collected by interviews, observations, document studies and a questionnaire (n = 247), as a post intervention study. The changes implemented consisted of reducing knife work to a maximum of 6 h per day and introducing a job rotation scheme with work periods of equal length. Tasks other than traditional meat cutting were added. A competence development plan for each meat cutter and easy adjustment of workplace height were introduced. The questionnaire showed a reduction in perceived physical work load. In general, the changes were perceived positively. Figures from the company showed a positive trend for injuries and sick leave.

  • 31.
    Yang, Liyun
    et al.
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Grooten, W. J. A.
    Forsman, M.
    An iPhone application for upper arm posture and movement measurements2017In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 65, p. 492-500Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a need for objective methods for upper arm elevation measurements for accurate and convenient risk assessments. The aims of this study were (i) to compare a newly developed iOS application (iOS) for measuring upper arm elevation and angular velocity with a reference optical tracking system (OTS), and (ii) to compare the accuracy of the iOS incorporating a gyroscope and an accelerometer with using only an accelerometer, which is standard for inclinometry. The iOS-OTS limits of agreement for static postures (9 subjects) were -4.6° and 4.8°. All root mean square differences in arm swings and two simulated work tasks were <6.0°, and all mean correlation coefficients were >0.98. The mean absolute iOS-OTS difference of median angular velocity was <13.1°/s, which was significantly lower than only using an accelerometer (<43.5°/s). The accuracy of this iOS application compares well to that of today's research methods and it can be useful for practical upper arm measurements.

  • 32. Åborg, C
    et al.
    Fernström, E
    Ericson, Mats O
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Ergonomics.
    Work content and satisfaction before and after a reorganisation of data entry work.1998In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 29, no 6, p. 473-80Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the study was to analyse the psychosocial and physical effects of a reorganisation of data entry work at a data processing unit with 153 employees. The reorganisation was planned to redistribute the repetitive work and improve health and satisfaction as well as efficiency. Methods used were questionnaires and, for a sub-group of 22 participants, interviews, diaries and video recordings. During the one-and-a-half-year study period the data processing unit was closed down and the employees transferred to units with more varied tasks. The reorganisation gave opportunities to improve working conditions. The results of this study show that important improvements were achieved. The majority of the 22 participants got less data entry work and the changes permitted a better work-load distribution. However, the work content after the reorganisation still did not provide satisfactory mental variation for most of the subjects, and the changes did not seem to affect health complaints.

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