A woodchuck


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



    This study was conducted by Cornell University's 1997 Applied Ergonomics class (a.k.a. DEA 4700/6700) in conjunction with Cornell's Animal Care Facility for woodchucks and rabbits. The research team was called in to study the working conditions of the facility in an attempt to pinpoint the factors contributing to the perceived sudden rise in worker injury, specifically back injuries.

    The ergonomic team conducted a site visit, collected archival and equipment inventory data, implemented questionnaires and surveys, analyzed the facility's noise and lighting conditions, and analyzed "risky" working postures.

    It was found that: there was no clear correlation between time employed and frequency of injury, injury frequency increased during the work hours of 8-9 A.M. and 2-3 P.M., job satisfaction was not correlated to frequency of injury, and there was no obvious correlation between anthropometric data and injury rate. A major finding was that workers adapted the "routine" way of accomplishing their tasks to fit their own preferences, but sometimes the adapted postures were unnecessarily strenuous.

    Ergonomic recommendations for improving the physical work environment and the tasks themselves are provided in the "Recommendations" section of this site.

    How to Use This Site

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    Special Thanks

    The DEA 4700/6700 class of 1997 would like to thank Professor Alan Hedge and staff at the Cornell Animal Care Facility, for their input and time.

    Tamar Ebbin / Brenda Hogeboom / Akiko Iwata / Youn Jea Lee /
    Lauren Moran / Jason Nawyn / Richard Porter /
    Robert Range / Abby Rowe / Michele Segal / Kristen Tobing / Bryan Walker

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