Date of Award

Summer 2006

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Safety and Health Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

Arijit K. Sengupta

Second Advisor

George W. Olsen

Third Advisor

Athanassios K. Bladikas

Abstract

Glove boxes are used in many industries to constrain environmental contamination and protect the worker from harmful or hazardous exposures. This research specifically evaluates the effect of height of the glove box arm ports on the efficiency of task performance and physiological costs of work for the glove box users.

Seven male and two female participants performed liquid mixing and vial filling tasks within a portable glove box. The tasks were designed to simulate common glove box tasks performed in pharmaceutical and laboratory settings. Each participant repeated the designed tasks while the glove port height was set at two different levels, at 122cm and 132cm.

Electromyography techniques along with discomfort surveys performed before and after the experimental sessions were used to analyze the data. The electromyography data was analyzed for localized muscle fatigue in the targeted muscles, (trapezius, anterior deltoid, bicep, and erector spinae muscle groups). The surveys were used to gather information on the performed task while using glove boxes and to measure perceived stress and discomfort at the varying glove port heights.

Results from this study reinforce the ergonomic guidelines for work height and demonstrates the importance of adjusting the correct glove port height according to the anthropometry of the user. The research also provides, for the first time, a set of qualitative data on upper body stresses in such situations with a glove box.

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