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Journal Article


Lavender SA, Ko PL, Sommerich CM. Appl. Ergon. 2013; 44(2): 230-236.


Integrated Systems Engineering, The Ohio State University, 1971 Neil Avenue, Rm. 210, Columbus, OH 43210, USA; Orthopaedics, The Ohio State University, USA.


(Copyright © 2013, Elsevier Publishing)






Developing lift assist devices to aid workers performing case tasks in distribution centers has been challenging given the movement of workers through a distribution facility. The objective of this work was to biomechanically evaluate a lift assist that can be integrated with pallet jacks and thereby move through the facility with the workers. Twelve participants transferred 16.4 kg boxes from one pallet to another manually and using the Eco-Pick lift assist. Electromyographic (EMG) activities were measured bilaterally in the Bicep, Deltoid, Latissimus Dorsi, and Erector Spinae muscles. The analysis showed that the 90th percentile normalized EMG values were significantly reduced in 4 of the 8 muscles sampled when using the Eco-Pick. Likewise, the 50th percentile normalized EMG data were significantly reduced for the Erector Spinae, Latissimus Dorsi, and the Bicep muscles when using the assist. For some of the muscles the advantage of the Eco-Pick was dependent upon the initial lift height or the placement height. Overall, it appears that this evaluation of the Eco-Pick's efficacy indicates that the device has the potential to be an effective means of reducing worker exposure to risk factors associated with back and shoulder injuries experienced during manual palletizing tasks found in distribution centers.

Language: en


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