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

  • Rapid Upper Limb Assesment (RULA)

    The RULA rating method is a "survey method developed for use in ergonomic investigations of workplaces where work-related upper limb (and upper body) disorders are reported" (McAtamney et al, 1993). A coding system inherent in the RULA system indicates the level of intervention required to reduce the risk of injury for certain activities. Some risk factors often assessed with the RULA are:

    • numbers of movements
    • static muscle work
    • force
    • work postures determined by equipment and furniture
    • time worked without a break

    After reviewing a video recording made on site, we used freeze-frame playback to isolate the postures deemed most dangerous. Each of these postures were then subjected to RULA analysis. Those postures were:

    1. Worker filling smaller food buckets from larger buckets
    2. Worker picking up boxes with woodchuck from the pen floor
    3. Worker cleaning lower cages in woodchuck facility

    The rating from the RULA analyses and the interviews with workers imply that the workers have developed a method of performing tasks that considers their personal body shape and size with the equipment they are cleaning, using etc. In many cases, simple adaptations that accomplish the task yet reduce the strain on one's body would significantly decrease the possibility of injury.

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    Data Analysis I
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