A Framework for ergonomic assessment of residential construction tasks

  • Author / Creator
    Inyang, Ndukeabasi I
  • Residential construction activities are predominantly physical in nature and are usually executed in uncomfortable environments at a fast pace. Workers in this industry require physical stamina as daily tasks often require prolonged standing, bending, stooping, material handling, working in crowded spaces and sometimes exposure to adverse weather conditions. This places varying amounts of stress on the musculoskeletal system (muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones) of the worker and increases the potential risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) which may in time deteriorate into permanent disability and, consequently, loss of ability to work. Applicable strategies are required to identify and control or eliminate the potential for development of WRMSDs by controlling or eliminating causal risk factors. The goal of this research is to develop a framework for ergonomic assessment of residential construction tasks. This goal is realized through the development of three ergonomic assessment models: (i) an observation-based assessment model (ErgoCheck), (ii) a biomechanical assessment model (ErgoBioMCheck), and (iii) a discrete event-simulation-based assessment model application (ErgoSymulate). A fatigue-productivity relationship model has also been developed as part of this study. Five (5) case studies are presented based on an assessment of factory-based residential construction wall and floor panel framing processes conducted in collaboration with an Alberta-based home builder. These case studies are used to assess the applicability and validity of the developed models. The results have shown acceptable correlation with existing models and compliance with evidence and theories found within ergonomics and construction literature. Further experimental and quantitative validation is recommended.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2013
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.