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The Ergonomic Assessment of an Animal Care Facility


  • Introduction
  • Site Visit

    Data collection
  • Site Inventory
  • Questionnaire
  • Interview

  • Environment
  • RULA


  • Data Analysis I
  • Data Analysis II
  • Suggestions

  • Environmental Observation

    According to the data from our questionnaires and interviews, several aspects of the facility were in some way disturbing to the workers. In particular, poor lighting and unwanted noise were frequently cited as bothersome. Therefore, we wished to record some objective measurements of light and sound levels.

    Lighting measures were taken Scott Instrument Laboratories Type 451 light meter. Results were as follows:
    Location Average Range
    ambient light 49-50 footcandles 30-72 footcandles
    top cages 37 fc 3-45 fc
    bottom cages 4 fc 2-7 fc
    pens 16 fc 8-13 fc

    The discrepancies between the top and bottom cages caused much concern. This was also cited as a problem by many of the workers. The light levels for the bottom cages were far below the recommended level of illumination level for activities similar to cleaning. Because speed is necessary for the efficiency of the workers, increased lighting levels are recommended. However, the concern of glare should be considered when increasing light levels.

    Noise levels were determined using a Sylvania/GTE Model VS-2000 Sound Meter. Results were as follows:
    Location Average Range
    Avg for Entire Facility 58 decibels 48-64 decibels
    Marmota Facility 62 dB 55-70 dB
    Conventional Facility 54 dB 48-62 dB
    Isolation Rooms 61 dB 60-62 dB
    Rabbit Colony 58 dB 58 dB

    Although noise was mentioned by employees as an annoyance, it was not determined to be at dangerous levels in the facility.   Highest noise levels were measured near air conditioning units.  Published research studies are inconclusive as to the effects of noise on performance, so it is difficult to say if reducing the noise levels in this facility would increase performance.  However, because employees did mention it as a problem, if possible, considerations to reduce the levles should be made.

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