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A walkthrough

This section provides a step-by-step walkthrough of how the ART tool is used to assess a repetitive task. You may find it helpful to print out and refer to a copy of the ART tool during the walkthrough.

The task that will be assessed involves packaging wrapped gingerbread biscuits into cardboard sleeves. The video shows a worker has to open a cardboard sleeve with her left hand hand, slide the package of gingerbread into the sleeve and then place the package across the table with her right hand.

Video

Watch the video for a few minutes to become familiar with the task. Then scroll down the page to see how the ART tool is used to assess this task.

Gingerbread packing video.

A worker packaging gingerbread.

Task Description Form

Here is the task description form that was completed at the start of the assessment. The form has been used to record some information about the task that could not be obtained from the video, such as the duration and pattern of breaks.

There is a shift duration of 8 hours. However, the worker rotates between this task and a different non-repetitive task every 60 minutes. In total, she packs gingerbread for just less than half of her total shift time.

An example completed task description form

Score sheet

Hover over individual rows for an explanation of each risk score Example of a completed scoresheet Arm movements Repetition Force Head / neck posture Back posture Arm posture Wrist posture Hand / finger grip Breaks Work pace Other factors Task score Duration multiplier Exposure score

A1. Arm movements

Due to the continuous delivery of product from the conveyor the worker's arms are moving almost continually.

Arm movements

A2. Repetition

While the average production rate is 17 times per minute (Amber), the video shows the production rate is over 20 times per minute sometimes (Red). For this reason, an intermediate score has been selected.

B. Force

The sleeves and packages are light, and no particular force is required.

C1. Head / neck posture

The worker's head/neck is bent sideways and down for more than half the time.

Neck posture

C2. Back posture

The worker's back is in a neutral straight posture with no significant leaning, twisting or stooping. It may be worth considering a more appropriate seat design though, as little back support is being provided.

Back posture

C3. Arm posture

The left elbow is raised out to the side for more than half the time when handling the sleeves.

The right elbow is raised for a part of the time as the right hand reaches to collect the gingerbread.

Left arm posture

C4. Wrist posture

The left wrist is bent for more than half the time while gripping and positioning the cardboard sleeve.

The right wrist is deviated for a part of the time when placing the product across the table.

Left wrist posture

C5. Hand / finger grip

The left hand spans and grips the cardboard sleeve for more than half the cycle time.

Hand grip

D1. Breaks

There is 60 minutes of continuous repetitive work, before taking a break (i.e. in this case, rotation to a non-repetitive task)

D2. Work pace

The worker expresses they sometimes have difficulties keeping up with the pace of this task.

D3. Other factors

The work is done in a well lit environment, with no other reported issues.

Task score

The task score, calculated for each arm separately, is the sum of the scores of all the risk factors.


For example:

6 + 5 + 0 + 2 + 0 + 4 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 0 = 24

D4. Duration multiplier

The worker performs the task between 2 and 4 hours per day in total, and so a duration multiplier of 0.75 is applied to the task score. The exposure score is reduced slightly.

Exposure score

The exposure score, calculated for each arm separately, is found by multiplying the task score by the duration multiplier.


For example:

24 x 0.75 = 18


The exposure score can be interpreted using the table of exposure levels.

The worker performs the task between 2 and 4 hours per day in total, and so a duration multiplier of 0.75 is applied to the task score. The exposure score is reduced slightly.

For more information about how to interpret and reduce the scores, refer to the pages on analysis and actions.

Improvements

There are a few ways that this gingerbread packaging task could be improved through consultation with the workforce.

Automation and mechanisation

Automatic wrappers could be used for this task to eliminate the repetitive task. These may be expensive to engineer and the cost-benefit of this option should be considered.

Reduce exposure

Job rotation is used to minimise the workers' exposure to the risks involved with this task, without which the exposure score would be considerably higher.

Improve posture

One of the key issues with this task is the worker's hand posture. The design of the products and the cardboard sleeve should be considered. The use of a jig fitted to the bench could be explored as this may allow the worker to maintain a more neutral posture of the left wrist and hand. Training the operators in postural awareness and providing a system for early reporting of any ULD symptoms should also be considered.

Next steps

You should now be familiar with how an assessment is made using ART.

Several other videos of repetitive tasks are provided to practise making assessments with the ART tool. We hope this will help you to learn how to use the ART tool before trying it out in the workplace. Practise making assessments with the ART tool.

Updated: 2011-10-08