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Shoulder loads when carrying scaffold poles: ergonomic and biomechanical factors

Faculty of Engineering and Informatics

About the Project

A scaffolding pole can weigh as much as 27 kg or more and balancing and holding it on the shoulder can be a physically challenging task. Many building site workers often carry more than one scaffold pole at a time. This means shoulder loading and compression can be very high, and it is no wonder many individuals experience shoulder injury. In order to provide safe working practices for scaffolders and those on constructions sites, it is vital that the ergonomic and biomechanical factors of carrying scaffolding poles is fully understood.

This project will determine the loading the shoulder experiences when carrying a scaffolding pole(s), and how such loading affects the biomechanics of how a person walks. It will also determine the amount of pressure (and associated discomfort) the shoulder experiences when carrying a scaffolding pole, and how pressures (and comfort) are effected by use of a novel shoulder pad.

3D motion capture techniques and inverse dynamics modelling will be used to determine shoulder loading and how the biomechanics of walking are effected when carrying a scaffold pole. Pressure mapping will be used to assess the shoulder pressure experienced when carrying a scaffold pole and if/how pressures are reduced using a novel shoulder pad.

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