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[en] A growing number of sonographers are being affected by pain and disability associated with their working practices. Many of these individuals are scanning whilst in considerable discomfort, or having to take sick leave when the pain makes scanning impossible. Severe cases will result in sonographers being unable to scan, and forced into a change of career, or early retirement. In order to help address this problem it was decided in June 2009 to host a workshop for sonographers at the University of the West of England, to introduce participants to a variety of ideas and techniques which could potentially prevent or reduce musculoskeletal disorders associated with working practices. Following the overwhelming popularity of this first session, three further workshops were organized. A total of 96 students have attended these four workshops, and all participants have been asked to complete detailed evaluation questionnaires. In order to determine any long-term benefits of the workshops, participants were also asked for their permission to be followed up at six week and twelve week intervals after attendance. A total of 23 participants were telephoned six weeks after attending the workshop and ten were telephoned at twelve weeks. Results demonstrated that the workshop was extremely beneficial for the majority who attended. The positive effects lasted for several weeks following the event, however, after three months the majority felt they needed additional reinforcement of the information, ideas and techniques learnt during the original workshop.
[en] Determine an ergonomic glovebox glove port center line location which will be used for standardization in new designs, thus allowing for predictable human work performance, reduced worker exposure to radiation and musculoskeletal injury risks, and improved worker comfort, efficiency, health, and safety.
[en] The human reliability assessment tools are not currently capable to model adequately the human ability to adapt, to innovate and to manage under extreme situations. The paper presents the results obtained by ICN PSA team in the frame of FP7 Advanced Safety Assessment Methodologies: extended PSA (ASAMPSA_E) project regarding the investigation of conducting HRA in human-made hazards. The paper proposes to use a 4-steps methodology for the assessment of human interactions in the external events (Definition and modelling of human interactions; Quantification of human failure events; Recovery analysis; Review). The most relevant factors with respect to HRA for man-made hazards (response execution complexity; existence of procedures with respect to the scenario in question; time available for action; timing of cues; accessibility of equipment; harsh environmental conditions) are presented and discussed thoroughly. The challenges identified in relation to man-made hazards HRA are highlighted. (authors)
[en] Maintainability of a mechanical system is one of the system design parameters that has a great impact in terms of ease of maintenance. In this article, based on the definition of the terms of maintenance and maintainability, an important tool of Design for Maintenance is developed as a way to improve maintainability through design. A set of standard and organized guidelines is provided and maintainability factors in terms of physical design, logistics support and ergonomics are identified. As a specific application of design review, a methodology so called Vector Projection Method is developed to evaluate the maintainability of the mechanical system. Lastly, an example is discussed
[en] Purpose: Achieving employee participation in continuous improvement (CI) systems is considered as one of the success factors for the sustainability of those systems. Yet, it is also very difficult to obtain because of the interaction of many critical factors that affect employee participation. Therefore, finding ways of measuring all these critical factors can help practitioners manage the employee participation process accordingly. Design/methodology/approach: Based upon the existing literature, this paper presents a 4-Phase (9 steps) diagnostic tool to measure the main determinants associated with the implementation of CI systems affecting employee participation in improvement activities. Findings: The tool showed its usefulness to detect the main weaknesses and improvement opportunities for improving employee participation in CI through the application in two different cases. Practical implications: This diagnostic tool could be particularly interesting for companies adopting CI and other excellence frameworks, which usually include a pillar related to people development inside the organization, but do not include tools to diagnose the state of this pillar. Originality/value: This diagnostic tool presents a user’s perspective approach, ensuring that the weaknesses and improvement opportunities detected during the diagnose come directly from the users of the CI system, which in this case are the employees themselves. Given that the final objective is to identify reasons and problems hindering employee participation, adopting this user’s perspective approach seem more relevant than adopting other more traditional approaches, based on gathering information from the CI system itself or from the CI managers.
[en] The vibration of the driver’s seat of agricultural tractors was investigated during three alternative tillage operations. Three tractors including a range of specifications were considered, at a range of forward speeds. The interactions between the tractors, implements and speeds were examined using the SPSS program and the GLM-ANOVA method. The results analysis indicated that the tractors played the first major role in vibration development in the lateral axis and was followed by the implements. In contrast, the implements played the first major role in the development of vibration in the horizontal axis and are followed by factor tractors. The statistically significant effect in vertical and horizontal axes shows the factor implements. In addition, the statistically significant effect in the vertical and lateral axes shows again the implements to be the most significant factor. Of the implements, the plough shows the highest vibration and displays statistically significant difference in comparison with the other implements.
[en] The goal of this project was to make improvements to the production systems of the steel casting industry through ergonomic improvements. Because of the wide variety of products, the wide range of product sizes, and the relatively small quantities of any particular product, manual operations remain a vital part of the production systems of the steel casting companies. Ergonomic improvements will assist the operators to more efficiently and consistently produce quality products
[en] Small modular reactors (SMRs) are a promising approach to meeting future energy needs. Although the electrical output of an individual SMR is relatively small compared to that of typical commercial nuclear plants, they can be grouped to produce as much energy as a utility demands. Furthermore, SMRs can be used for other purposes, such as producing hydrogen and generating process heat. The design characteristics of many SMRs differ from those of current conventional plants and may require a distinct concept of operations (ConOps). The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) conducted research to examine the human factors engineering (HFE) and the operational aspects of SMRs. The research identified thirty potential human-performance issues that should be considered in the NRC's reviews of SMR designs and in future research activities. The purpose of this report is to support NRC HFE reviewers of SMR applications by identifying some of the questions that can be asked of applicants whose designs have characteristics identified in the issues. The questions for each issue were identified and organized based on the review elements and guidance contained in Chapter 18 of the Standard Review Plan (NUREG-0800), and the Human Factors Engineering Program Review Model (NUREG-0711).
[en] Literature regarding the heterogeneity of and preferences for radiology workstation design—and, in particular, the digital workspace of the radiology workstation—is scant. The purpose of this study was to determine the nature of the digital environments across the specialty and the degree of satisfaction users associated with the particular facets of those environments. A survey was sent to the membership of the Association of University Radiologists in February 2015. The survey comprised 10 questions establishing demographics, current typical workstation setup, perceived satisfaction with that setup, and preferences for potential altered setups. A total of 336 radiologists responded, with a cross-section similar to that described in the 2015 ACR annual workforce survey (1). Although there was a rough split in the number of radiologists using one or two non-diagnostic monitors (46 vs. 51%, respectively), the strong majority (75%) of radiologists use two diagnostic monitors. Users of two non-diagnostic monitors were more likely to keep open the case info (87 vs. 68%) and EMR (84 vs 68%). More senior radiologists tended to find the current setup easy more frequent than younger radiologists, and the latter group was more likely to believe additional monitors would be helpful. Although many radiologists are comfortable with their computing workflows, a significant number indicate dissatisfaction and may be interested in being able to specify the amount of monitor space with which they can work. Additional monitors may promote improved quality in addition to any potential productivity gains.
[en] The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) endorsement of consensus standards provides a cost-effective means of enhancing the staff's ability to review state-of-the-art designs. Although the NRC endorsed consensus standards in many technical disciplines, it yet has to do so in human factors engineering (HFE). The purpose of our study was to develop a standardized methodology whereby to evaluate a consensus HFE standard to determine its appropriateness to, and adequacy for using in licensing reviews. The high-level objective of the methodology is to ensure that the guidance meets the NRC's requirements on scientific- and engineering-rigor that they use in developing their own guidance. We propose four criteria for endorsing a consensus standard: (1) It should meet an existing need for NRC's licensing and safety reviews; (2) it should be based on sound HFE principles; (3) it should be thoroughly peer-reviewed; and, (4) it should address human performance issues identified in the literature. Our methodology offers a means to assess these four criteria. We used it to evaluate an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) draft standard on computerized operating procedure systems. We concluded that the IEEE standard generally met the established criteria, although several areas were identified that needed further clarification. Our evaluation methodology particularly was useful for identifying issues to be resolved, and for providing a basis for judging whether the staff should consider endorsing the standard. The methodology also helped recognize criteria in the proposed standard that may benefit from additional scrutiny by the staff. The evaluation methodology developed is applicable generally to reviewing other HFE standards that the NRC is considering for use or endorsement.