Dynamic biomechanical simulation for identifying risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal disorders during construction tasks

Joonoh Seo, S. Lee, T. J. Armstrong, S. Han

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We propose a dynamic biomechanical simulation method that uses motion capture to evaluate the risk of Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs). Statistics show that WMSDs accounted for 33% of all non-fatal occupational injuries and illness in construction in 2009, and were a leading cause of temporary and permanent disability. Present methods rely largely on self-reports from workers, observational techniques, and direct measurements of motion and muscle activity to assess awkward postures, physical loads, repetitiveness, and the duration of exposure. While these methods have helped to prevent WMSDs in construction work, they may not be suitable for estimating the internal tissue loads associated with WMSDs. We propose a dynamic biomechanical simulation method to estimate internal forces and moments at each body joint of construction workers with motion capture data. Particularly, we explore the biomechanical loads by simulating active 3D musculoskeletal models based on measured postures and movements. To demonstrate the feasibility of this approach, we studied a ladder climbing task using a portable ladder under controlled laboratory conditions. Postures and motions were determined with a commercial motion capture system (e.g., VICON). The results were analyzed to investigate the feasibility of identifying risk factors based on biomechanical simulation. The results show that the proposed approach allows us to determine the biomechanical basis for WMSDs, and to identify postures and movements associated with excessive physical demands on each body joint. When combined with marker-less motion capture which is our ongoing work, the proposed approach has the potential to assess an individual's motions and to provide personalized feedback for the purpose of reducing biomechanical loads and WMSD risk in real workplaces.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationISARC 2013 - 30th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction and Mining, Held in Conjunction with the 23rd World Mining Congress
Pages1074-1084
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event30th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction and Mining, ISARC 2013, Held in Conjunction with the 23rd World Mining Congress - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: 11 Aug 201315 Aug 2013

Conference

Conference30th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction and Mining, ISARC 2013, Held in Conjunction with the 23rd World Mining Congress
CountryCanada
CityMontreal, QC
Period11/08/1315/08/13

Keywords

  • Biomechanical model
  • Motion capture
  • Work-related musculoskeletal disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

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