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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

  • Interview

    Interviewing was chosen as a method for surveying the workers because it allows for variability. This means the interviewer can get specific information on a response that might not be possible if follow-up questions could not be asked.

    Only certain areas of information were discussed in the interview. The final topics which appeared on the interview were:

    1. Environmental Conditions: noise, odor, fumes, allergens, lighting, thermal conditions, and dry and wet conditions.
    2. Back Trouble: where, when, and how often backs were being injured.
    3. Training: what type of training they received and if it was followed.
    4. Work Demands: physical requirements and mental attitudes
    5. Anthropometrics: physical measurements of each of the thirteen employees.

    After the interviews were complete they needed to be scored for content. The similarities between the interviews were noted question by question. This told us what problems the employees agreed about and therefore were considered to be the most serious. The results of this analysis are presented here.

    Major Findings:
    • all workers believe that the environment needs to be changed
    • contaminants (saw dust, animal dander) in the air cause a decrease in job performance
    • uneven lighting/shadows
    • slippery floors
    • vast majority of workers have slipped
    • loud ventilation system
    • clothing is a strong factor in thermal comfort
    • localized body discomfort
    • 50% of workers report back injuries
    • everyone who reported back injuries had past injuries
    • while cleaning lower cages, body posture is uncomfortable
    • cleaning pens and cages are the most repetitive jobs
    • most people don't look at the training manual
    • need to be more thorough and consistent in training
    • most workers change the way they do their job from how they
    • were taught (and think their way is better)
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    Environmental Observation
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