Development and validation of a wearable inertial sensors-based automated system for assessing work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the workspace

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The industrial societies face difficulty applying traditional work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSD) risk assessment methods in practical applications due to in-situ task dynamics, complex data processing, and the need of ergonomics professionals. This study aims to develop and validate a wearable inertial sensors-based automated system for assessing WMSD risks in the workspace conveniently, in order to enhance workspace safety and improve workers' health. Both postural ergonomic analysis (RULA/REBA) and two-dimensional static biomechanical analysis were automatized as two toolboxes in the proposed system to provide comprehensive WMSD risk assessment based on the kinematic data acquired from wearable inertial sensors. The effectiveness of the developed system was validated through a follow-up experiment among 20 young subjects when performing representative tasks in the heavy industry. The RULA/REBA scores derived from our system achieved high consistency with experts' ratings (intraclass correlation coefficient >= 0.83, classification accuracy >88%), and good agreement was also found between low-back compression force from the developed system and the reference system (mean intersystem coefficient of multiple correlation >0.89 and relative error <9.5%). These findings suggested that the wearable inertial sensors-based automated system could be effectively used for WMSD risk assessment of workers when performing tasks in the workspace.
Publisher
MDPI
Issue Date
2020-09
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH, v.17, no.17, pp.6050

ISSN
1660-4601
DOI
10.3390/ijerph17176050
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/276611
Appears in Collection
IE-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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