Inderscience Publishers

Simplified procedure to analyse work posture of foundry men through the rapid upper limb assessment

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Foundries are considered to be among the most hazardous of manufacturing environments. Various foundry activities involve handling heavy objects such as moulds or castings. These activities may cause Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) due to improper work postures. In this paper, a biomechanics approach is proposed to evaluate the work posture and provide a safe working environment. This will help managers and supervisors in a foundry to decide on the optimal working environment. The Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA)-based biomechanics evaluation module of CATIA-V5 software is used for this purpose. For a given set of anthropometric data of a worker, work posture and load conditions, the current work posture of a typical grinding operation in a fettling shop is simulated to assess the stress distribution in the human body as well as joints. From these results, excessive stress intensity in workers' current work posture and load-carrying condition is observed. Alternative work postures are studied to fit ergonomically.

Keywords: foundry work, work posture, anthropometric data, RULA, rapid upper limb assessment, simulation, musculoskeletal disorders, MSD, biomechanics, safety, safe working, stress distribution, grinding, fettling, ergonomics, human factors

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