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Ergonomic evaluation of bricklayer trowel prototypes in a field setting

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Author: Groenesteijn, L. · Kuijt-Evers, L.F.M. · Eikhout, S.M.
Publisher: Elsevier
Place: Oxford
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:Pikaar, R.N.Koningsveld, E.A.P.Settels, P.J.M., IEA 2006, 16th World Congress on Ergonomics "Meeting diversity in ergonomics"
Identifier: 278247
Keywords: Ergonomics · Arbeidsproductiviteit


A field study was carried out consisting of three parts: 1) Posture recording (by goniometrics) of shoulder, fore arm and wrist during the tasks that the bricklayers perform using their trowel; 2) Calculation of the wrist load moment value and 3) Questioning the bricklayers about their experience after using the prototypes. From the posture recording, it was seen that the use of prototype 2 resulted in a significantly shorter exposure to an extreme wrist posture (i.e., ulnar deviation) than prototype 1 and the traditional trowel. The wrist load value was significantly lower for prototype 2 compared to prototype 1 and the traditional trowel and lower for prototype 1 compared to the traditional trowel. The bricklayers mentioned that the functionality, user friendless and work performance are better for the traditional trowel compared to both prototypes. Spreading mortar in corners and stirring mortar can be better done using the traditional trowel in stead of using the prototypes, according to the bricklayers. Further, they say that the prototypes have a good fit in the hand and that shovelling and spreading mortar using the prototypes cause less physical load on the upper extremities compared to the traditional trowel.