Analysis of working postures in hammering tasks on building construction sites using the computerized OWAS method.

Applied ergonomics

PubMedID: 15676938

Mattila M, Karwowski W, Vilkki M. Analysis of working postures in hammering tasks on building construction sites using the computerized OWAS method. Appl Ergon. 1993;24(6):405-12.
The main objectives of this study were to identify the most problematic postures in hammering tasks performed at building construction sites through application of the computerized OWAS method, and to develop recommendations for improvement of working method and workplaces. Eighteen construction workers, with mean age of 41.6, from three construction companies participated in the field study. The hammering tasks observed during the two-month period included roof boarding, concrete form preparation, clamping support braces, assembling roof frames, roof joisting, shelter form preparation, and fixing fork clamps. Three different types of hammer, including a small Fiskar's hammer, a Fiskar's construction hammer, and a Rocket hammer, were used by the workers. Of all the observations, poor working postures were observed most frequently in roof joisting (12.4% of all observations within the task), followed by concrete form preparation (8.6%), and construction of frames for the roof (7.5%). Overall, out of 593 different postures analysed, a total of 7.8% of postures adopted by the workers during various hammering tasks were classified into OWAS categories III or IV, indicating that these postures should be corrected either soon or immediately. The computerized OWAS method for postural data analysis proved to be a very useful way to reduce postural load of dynamic hammering tasks, and allowed for efficient application of the original OWAS method.