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Article

Development and Validation of a Wearable Inertial Sensors-Based Automated System for Assessing Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Workspace

1
Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), 291 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34141, Korea
2
Department of Exercise Sciences, The University of Auckland, 4703906, Newmarket, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6050; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176050
Received: 19 July 2020 / Revised: 15 August 2020 / Accepted: 18 August 2020 / Published: 20 August 2020
The industrial societies face difficulty applying traditional work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSD) risk assessment methods in practical applications due to in-situ task dynamics, complex data processing, and the need of ergonomics professionals. This study aims to develop and validate a wearable inertial sensors-based automated system for assessing WMSD risks in the workspace conveniently, in order to enhance workspace safety and improve workers’ health. Both postural ergonomic analysis (RULA/REBA) and two-dimensional static biomechanical analysis were automatized as two toolboxes in the proposed system to provide comprehensive WMSD risk assessment based on the kinematic data acquired from wearable inertial sensors. The effectiveness of the developed system was validated through a follow-up experiment among 20 young subjects when performing representative tasks in the heavy industry. The RULA/REBA scores derived from our system achieved high consistency with experts’ ratings (intraclass correlation coefficient ≥0.83, classification accuracy >88%), and good agreement was also found between low-back compression force from the developed system and the reference system (mean intersystem coefficient of multiple correlation >0.89 and relative error <9.5%). These findings suggested that the wearable inertial sensors-based automated system could be effectively used for WMSD risk assessment of workers when performing tasks in the workspace. View Full-Text
Keywords: work-related musculoskeletal disorders; risk assessment; occupational safety; postural ergonomic analysis; static biomechanical analysis; system development and validation work-related musculoskeletal disorders; risk assessment; occupational safety; postural ergonomic analysis; static biomechanical analysis; system development and validation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, C.; Kim, W.; Zhang, Y.; Xiong, S. Development and Validation of a Wearable Inertial Sensors-Based Automated System for Assessing Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Workspace. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6050. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176050

AMA Style

Huang C, Kim W, Zhang Y, Xiong S. Development and Validation of a Wearable Inertial Sensors-Based Automated System for Assessing Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Workspace. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(17):6050. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176050

Chicago/Turabian Style

Huang, Chunxi, Woojoo Kim, Yanxin Zhang, and Shuping Xiong. 2020. "Development and Validation of a Wearable Inertial Sensors-Based Automated System for Assessing Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Workspace" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 17: 6050. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176050

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