DoD employees are our most precious asset. Protecting those employees is critical to every DoD activity, especially maintenance activities which often involve lifting or operating heavy material and tools. Fortunately, ergonomic technology and principles are available which can be utilized in maintenance activities to minimize strain and stress on employees’ bodies. Adopting and implementing these technologies and principles can substantially contribute to the overall safety, comfort and health of the workforce. Additionally, applying these ergonomic assists may help boost productivity and reduce employee turnover rates. Historically, more than one-third of lost-time injuries are the result of overexertion/ergonomics injuries, many of which lead to extended days of leave. DoD has tested and adopted various lift assist devices to increase productivity and reduce musculoskeletal injuries across a range of heavy industrial occupations. The focus of these devices is to dramatically increase productivity across a broad range of tasks and protect the worker from musculoskeletal injuries. This forum will highlight the ergonomic technology/ practices and their many potential uses to protect our maintainers from injury while increasing productivity. Examples include full body exoskeletons which have been procured and tested, and the use of exoskeleton arms for tasks such as grinding and sanding.
1300-1309: Welcome and Overview – Greg Kilchenstein (OSD-MPP)
1309-1310: Administrative Notes – Debbie Lilu (NCMS)
1310-1340: Shipyard Ergonomics Program & Hardware Solutions – Cindy Whitehead (NSWCDD)
1340-1355: Hand Tool Vibration – Mark Geiger (NAVSAFECEN)
1355-1410: U.S. Army Ergonomics Programs – LTC Jay Clasing (U.S. Army Public Health Center)
1410-1425: Confined Space Monitoring Program and Laser Handheld Particulate Sensor
– Frank Zahiri (USAF AFMC AFSC/ENRB) and Kevin T. Durkee (APTIMA)
1425-1440: USMC Ergonomics Programs – Greg Russell & Bill Baker (USMC Albany)
1440-1455: NAVAIR Ergonomics Programs – TBD (FRC-SW)
1455-1500: Wrap-up and JTEG Principals Comments
Event: On 28 June, 2016, the Joint Technology Exchange Group (JTEG), in coordination with the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), hosted a virtual forum on “Ergonomics: Protecting the Workforce”.
Purpose: The purpose of the forum was to highlight the ergonomic technology/ practices and their many potential uses to protect our maintainers from injury while increasing productivity. Examples included full body exoskeletons which have been procured and tested, and the use of exoskeleton arms for tasks such as grinding and sanding.
Welcome: Kurt Doehnert (JTEG Co-Chair), welcomed everyone to the forum, thanked the presenters and all the listeners for their attendance, and briefly described the purposes of the JTEG and the JTEG technology forums.
Administrative: This was an open forum. The presentations, along with questions and answers, were conducted through Adobe Connect. A separate audio line was used. Approximately 45 participants from across DoD and industry joined in the forum.
Shipyard Ergonomics Program & Hardware Solutions – Cindy Whitehead (NSWCDD) discussed the Naval Shipyard Ergonomics Community of Practice, to include benefits and accident data. She described the ergonomics current state to include several real world solutions, ergonomic studies, training, and resources.
Hand Tool Vibration – Mark Geiger (NAVSAFECEN) gave a presentation on “Linking Safety and Productivity to Power Hand Tool Evaluation and Procurement”. The briefing described safety of power tools with a focus on improving vibration, noise and ergonomics, improving tool and/or process productivity and quality, a balanced scorecard evaluation, and a process management approach.
U.S. Army Ergonomics Programs – LTC Jay Clasing (U.S. Army Public Health Center) described the Army Ergonomics Program capabilities, to include consultative assistance, ergonomics education, on-line informational /education products, Health Hazard Assessments (HHA), vibration analysis, and policy guidance.
Laser Handheld Particulate Sensor James Brown (72 ABW/CEIE) discussed the Handheld LIDAR Particulate Matter Detector to include the health effects of particulate matter (PM), the sources of PM, and how the LIDAR detector works.
Confined Space Monitoring Program– Frank Zahiri (USAF AFMC AFSC/ENRB) and Kevin T. Durkee (APTIMA) briefed a concept which utilizes an unobtrusive sensor suite to remotely monitor worker health signals, hydration, location, & atmospheric hazards in confined spaces, and an integrated decision support for alerting & intervention. The benefits include: a greater reliability to ensure worker safety, improved performance & work efficiency, and cost savings.
NAVAIR Ergonomics Programs – Alcide Richards; Miguel Delrosal (FRC-SW) provided a description of the Canopy Drilling Tool which uses a ZeroG Arm and printed adaptor to aid in the drilling of F-18 canopies. The final tool improves ergonomics, extends fixture bushing life, and improves productivity.
USMC Ergonomics Programs – Greg Russell (USMC Albany) discussed several USMC ergonomic needs and stated that they are evaluating the use of Zero G Arms as a possible solution to reducing worker fatigue from various grinding operations. Other needs include noise reduction and hearing conservation, work piece positioning, as well as slips, trips, and falls.
Closing Comments: Kurt Doehnert thanked the presenters for their contributions and the audience for their participation. He commented on the quality of the presentations and the great variety of capabilities discussed by the presenters.
1) Obtain “public Release” versions of the presentations and post to the JTEG website. These meeting minutes, the Q&A, and those briefing slides approved for public release, will be posted on the JTEG website at http://jteg.ncms.org/ . (All presenters, LMI, NCMS)
Next JTEG Meeting: The next JTEG virtual forum is 26 July 2016, 1:00 – 3:00 pm EST. The topic is “Alternate Energies / Energy Efficiencies”.
POC this action is Ray Langlais, firstname.lastname@example.org , (571) 633-8019
Hand Tool Vibration
Mark Geiger (NAVSAFECEN)
Q1. How is relative weighting determined?
A1. Go to slide 68. It varies a bit with each tool. We develop individual score charts for each tool, as seen on slide 69.
Q2. What is the difference between the NIOSH manual and others?
A2. I’ll do my best to answer the question. I’m not certain the question is precisely on a NIOSH manual, since NIOSH doesn’t publish a simple “how to evaluate vibration” manual. However, both the European Union and NIOSH have websites which provide comparative evaluation for noise and vibration level of different types of tools. See:
The NIOSH CDC database is located at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/niosh-sound-vibration/
The European Database can be located at http://www.portaleagentifisici.it/fo_hav_list_macchinari_avanzata.php?lg=EN&page=0 and http://resource.isvr.soton.ac.uk/HRV/VINET/pdf_files/Appendix_H4B.pdf and http://unetech.niwl.se .
The Hand-arm vibration Test Center can be located at https://www.operc.com/havtec/havinfo.asp
The Army Public Health Command has good information on evaluation of segmental (hand-arm vibration). See “Hand Arm Vibration” Under workplace exposure topics at https://phc.amedd.army.mil/topics/workplacehealth/ergo/Pages/Acquisition.aspx
The use of powered hand tools causes mechanical energy in the form of vibration to propagate to the user’s hand and arm. This vibration, known as Hand-Arm Vibration (HAV), can affect the health and readiness of soldiers and workers. The relevant literature on the effects of long-term high-intensity HAV indicates an increased prevalence to occupational illnesses including Raynaud’s syndrome as well as other WMSDs. For workers whose occupation exposes them to HAV, a one-page poster on how you can avoid Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is available for download. https://phc.amedd.army.mil/PHC%20Resource%20Library/HAVSPoster.pdf
The APHC Ergonomics Program can assess an injury risk associated with exposure to HAV. Through vibration analysis, the severity and probability of injury for crew positions can be assessed and a Risk Assessment Code (RAC) assigned. So individuals can estimate possible HAV at their location, we have linked to our Hand Arm Vibration (HAV) Exposure Pocket Guide. This guide allows individuals to prioritize HAV exposures by making a very rough estimate of workers’ exposure at their installation for follow-up measurement and control. https://phc.amedd.army.mil/PHC%20Resource%20Library/TG356_VibrationPocketGuide.pdf
The English Health and Safety Executive provides a good guide on vibration assessment at http://www.bris.ac.uk/safety/media/gn/vibration-gn.pdf
It includes a calculator for assessment of vibration exposures at http://www.hse.gov.uk/vibration/hav/vibrationcalc.htm
Confined Space Monitoring Program & Laser Handheld Particulate Sensor
Frank Zahiri (USAF AFMC AFSC/ENRB) and James Brown / Kevin T. Durkee (APTIMA)
Q1. Do we have an idea how bad the environments are?
A1. As you may expect there is a fairly broad range. At Lockheed’s C-5 complex in Marietta, for instance, the confined spaces are on the less hazardous side compared to what you may occasionally find at ALCs. The fuel tanks are already cleaned out so there is little concern about toxicity hazards. However there could be remnants of flammable material hence they monitor for explosive limits in the air. Physical discomfort is obviously a factor as with most confined spaces; workers have told us they may spent hours at a time in the space to avoid the overhead of entering/exiting the space. On a more hazardous side of the spectrum, some confined entries are not cleaned out and requires wearing hazmat suits, hence there is greater potential for both toxic and explosive hazards. The specific location in the aircraft (e.g., wing vs fuselage) will also have an impact on physical space, potential for atmospheric hazards, and accessibility for emergency response if something bad happens.
Q2. Can these sensors also be linked with communication systems? For example, the shipyard environment creates situations where noise, vision limitations and radio communications hinder feedback between worker and attendant. Would you consider sharing this material with the NAVSEA shipyard confined space working group?
A2. Yes – in fact we are planning to incorporate the ability for the wrist-worn device to have a small display and user input function to facilitate basic standard communication between workers & the remote controller/monitor. The goal is to reduce radio comms and hopefully expedite the notification and approval process to enter/exit a confined space, which could reduce worker downtime over the course of each day. I believe we can share the material with government agencies such as NAVSEA working groups interested in the concept, though Mr. Zahiri may best positioned to facilitate this.
USMC Ergonomics Programs
Bill Baker (USMC Albany)
Cindy Whitehead – Navy: We can provide contacts at Navy that do blasting grinding and painting. They have solutions that reduce lifting. (USMC contacts provided to Cindy)
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