Presentation on theme: "Research in Progress: Review of Tractor Seating Issues Related to Ergonomics of Difference C.S. Wilhite, University of New Mexico-School of Medicine W.E."— Presentation transcript:
Research in Progress: Review of Tractor Seating Issues Related to Ergonomics of Difference C.S. Wilhite, University of New Mexico-School of Medicine W.E. Field, Purdue University Funded Research-Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention, and Education, NIOSH-2U540H007541, CFDA # 93. 262 No other financial disclosures
Introduction Agricultural machinery technology is rapidly evolving. Design of seating, seat materials, and management of seated pressure largely unchanged. Current seating may not conform to the needs of people who vary by size, weight, posture, gender, or health status (ergonomics of difference). People with ergonomics of difference may have to incorporate after-market accommodations to fit themselves to the seating conditions. No research on risks/benefits of changing the dynamics of the seating system.
Example: AgrAbility Farmers with spinal cord injuries (SCI) – Access machinery with fabricated manlifts and operate machinery with hand controls – Paralysis create changes in sensation, motor function, circulation, and tissue health that can pre-dispose the person to skin tears, lacerations, and pressure-related ulcers – Most farmers with SCI select additional cushioning materials (WC cushions, egg-crate foam, sheepskins, etc.)
Research Purpose: – Test feasibility of mapping seated pressure on an average original equipment foam contour tractor seat, with and without intervention wheelchair cushions Subjects: – Convenience sampling – Inclusion: Person with SCI, no current unstable decubitus ulcer – 5 Male, 3 Female (age ranges 25- 60 years) – The University of New Mexico- Health Sciences Center Institutional Review Board (#13- 129) approved the research.
Research Methods – Mixed methods, single- subjects with repeated measures Instruments – FSA Pressure Mapping System by Vista Medical – Simulation Platform – Braden Scale pressure ulcer risk questionnaire – Likert Scale Seat Ratings – Postural photographs
Results-Clinical Image Examples High Profile ROHO Air Cushion- settle High Profile ROHO Air Cushion- Completed Perturbations
Results Summary Seven out of eight subjects demonstrated better distribution of pressure, minimal migration, and better immersion with the high profile air cushion. One subject appeared to have acceptable outcomes on both seating conditions. Further data transformation is underway.
Limitations Laboratory vs. field conditions Small sample size Only one tractor seat, five conditions Only seated pressures measured Experience of investigator; not blinded to results
Discussion 1. Are there practical limitations on how much front-end design can accommodate the variances involved in ergonomics of difference (e.g. weight, gender, size, postural asymmetries, and disability)? 2. What new materials, structures, contours, and dimensions can be incorporated into front-end design to widen the variance for ergonomics of difference? 3. What should be the role of aftermarket and custom design solutions that “fit” into existing front-end design? What research needs to be performed to ensure aftermarket solutions are effective in resolving seating issues, without creating other problems? 3. What body of knowledge and standardization of process needs to be developed for recommending aftermarket accommodations for people with ergonomics of difference? 4. Who needs to perform the work (i.e. designers, engineers, ergonomists, researchers, occupational health nurses, and others)? Will the work be performed in isolation or best performed through multi-disciplinary teams?
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