If you've ever worked at or visited the UC Ergonomics Lab at the Richmond Field Station, you know that it is a Human Factors and Ergonomics playground. The labs within the main building have the best equipment to measure exposure and quantify meaningful differences in products, tools, work space modifications or processes. You can read more about the lab here.
The latest addition is the HFE Work Simulation Center that recently opened in a large adjoining building. Built by Alan Barr, the lead engineer of our department, the Center is designed to simulate work tasks and layouts in a controlled environment so exposure can be measured for different design iterations.
The HFE Work Simulation Center facilitates prevention through design using adjustable workstations wired with pressure plates, scales and plenty of space for wearable sensor technology. We now have the ability to easily mock up real-world industrial scenarios in a controlled environment and test alternative solutions to design for low exposure.
Simulations can be measured for work such as:
~ Conveyor line parts packing
~ Over head tool use (e.g., grinding, drilling, etc)
~ Using tools on lateral surfaces (e.g., drilling, grinding, sanding, etc)
~ QC inspection
Stay tuned to hear about the projects we run in the HFE Work Simulation Center!