Developing and Testing of Ergonomic Tools for Tilesetters
(The following information has been abstracted from a paper
submitted to the 2nd International Symposium on Ergonomics in Building
and Construction, IEA, August 2000)
Wakula , M. Adelmann, G. Linke-Kaiser, K. Landau
A Institute of Ergonomics, Darmstadt University of Technology, Petersenstr.
D- 64287 Darmstadt, Germany
Phone +49 6151 16 2987 / Fax +49 6151 16 3488;
Bau-Berufsgenossenschaft Frankfurt am Main, An der Festeburg 27-29,
D-60389 Frankfurt am Main, Germany,
Phone +49 69 4705-301 / Fax +49 69 4705-333
Ergonomic and occupational
medical studies of tile-setters work showed detailed results of stress-strain
situations in the tile-setters' work, and of musculoskeletal complaints
and diseases (Adelmann et al.,1994). In order to reduce the tile-setters'
strain, ergonomic design requirements were derived (Adelmann /WAKULA,1997).
Selected tools for tile-setters were developed and designed in a research
project (WAKULA,1997; LANDAU and WAKULA, 1997). A transportable work station
including a work table and platform with adjustable height, a device for
transportation and tipping out mortar, and a tool box were developed.
Several of the tile-setters' jobs that were particularly subject to stress
up to now, e. g. cutting the tiles on the floor in a kneeling position,
working above shoulder level, transporting and tipping out mortar, and
the transportation of tools, can be facilitated with these devices.
During the development of the tools, criteria of technical safety, ergonomics,
economy and ecology were considered. The project was supported by the
Statutory Occupational Accident Injuries Insurance's (Bau-Berufsgenossenschaften)
in Germany. In the project a group of tile-setters (employers and employees),
physicians of occupational health, and engineers of the Bau-Berufsgenossenschaften"
worked together with the institute.
Two prototypes of
transportable work station including a work table and platform with adjustable
height were tested in tile-setting companies. A questionnaire was worked
out for the testing. Fifteen tile-setters from five small tile-setting
companies (until 5 employee's) and three big companies (until 20 employee's)
as four person from a learning center for tile-setters took pat in the
study. About 87% of asked tile-setters are interested for a work table
with adjustable height and about 67% of then have interest for platform.
An important question was the price for this work station. Only two tile-setters
are ready to pay for this transportable work station about DM 800,-. One
third of tile-setters gave no information concerning the price.
Considering the test results and in co-operation with industrial manufacturers,
the development will be finished so that the work table / platform can
go into production.
Adelmann, M.; Wakula,
J.; Bunk, W.; Schildge, B.; Linke-Kaiser, G.; Rohmert, W.: Der Fliesen-,
Platten- und Mosaikleger. Arbeitsmedizinische und arbeitswissenschaftliche
Studie der Belastungen und Beanspruchungen bei der Fliesenlegerarbeit.
Heidelberg: Haefner, 1994
Adelmann, M.; Wakula, J.; Linke-Kaiser, G.; Kaiser, R.; Rohmert, W.: Prevention
of Musculoskeletal Disorders at the Tilesetters' Working Place. In: From
Experience to Innovation. Proceedings of the 13th Triennial Congress of
the International Ergonomics Association, June 29-Juli 4 1997, Tampere,
Finnland (Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki) pp. 75-78
Landau, K. and Wakula, J.: Ergonomic design of tools and working objects
in the construction industry. In: In: From Experience to Innovation. Proceedings
of the 13th Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association,
June 29-Juli 4 1997, Tampere, Finnland (Finnish Institute of Occupational
Health, Helsinki) pp. 139-142
Wakula, J.: Ergonomische Entwicklung und Gestaltung von ausgewählten
Arbeitsmitteln für Fliesenlegertätigkeiten. Forschungsbericht,
Technische Universität Darmstadt, 1997
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