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Akanmu, A, Olayiwola, J and Olatunji, O A (2020) Musculoskeletal disorders within the carpentry trade: analysis of timber flooring subtasks. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 27(09), 2577–90.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Technology; Case study; Construction site; Construction safety;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0969-9988
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-08-2019-0402
  • Abstract:
    Carpenters are constantly vulnerable to musculoskeletal disorders. Their work consists of subtasks that promote nonfatal injuries and pains that affect different body segments. The purpose of this study is to examine ergonomic exposures of carpentry subtasks involved in floor framing, how they lead to musculoskeletal injuries, and how preventive and protective interventions around them can be effective.Design/methodology/approach Using wearable sensors, this study characterizes ergonomic exposures of carpenters by measuring and analyzing body movement data relating to major subtasks in carpentry flooring work. The exposures are assessed using Postural Ergonomic Risk Assessment classification, which is based on tasks involving repetitive subtasks and nonstatic postures.Findings The findings of this paper suggest severe risk impositions on the trunk, shoulder and elbow as a result of the measuring and marking and cutting out vent locations, as well as in placing and nailing boards into place.Research limitations/implications Because of the type and size of wearable sensor used, only results of risk exposures of four body-parts are presented.Practical implications This study draws insights on how to benchmark trade-specific measurement of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Safety efforts can be targeted toward these risk areas and subtasks. Specifically, results from these will assist designers and innovators in designing effective and adaptable protective interventions and safety trainings.Originality/value Extant studies have failed to provide adequate evidence regarding the relationships between subtasks and musculoskeletal disorders; they have only mimicked construction tasks through laboratory experimental scenarios. This study adds value to the existing literature, in particular by providing insights into hazards associated with floor carpentry subtasks.