Manual Tasks -- Lifting Loads -- Transfer Stations

This discussion draws upon several cases where it had been asserted that human characteristics failed to be taken into account in the design and operation of transfer stations, i.e., facilities where the public can dispose of trash and recyclable items. Potential mishaps include falls and overexertion during the transfer of items into bins or landfills. With regard to the former, particular concern must be given to decreasing the likelihood that users will fall into the bin or landfill during the transfer process.

HF Issues: From the vantage point of my discipline, transfer stations pose serious design challenges. Typically, the system has little control over the physical characteristics of its users. Not only do they vary in age and sex, but in their physical condition and health. Further, the size and weight of items that are to be discarded can vary greatly, as can user understanding of proper lifting, pulling, and pushing techniques.

In addition to these sources of variability, we have a setting where walkway surfaces may be made slippery by contaminants and, in some cases, where users may feel obligated to dispose of items as quickly as possible.

HF Analysis: Methods may include evaluating loads and torques on joints, the use of engineering anthropometry methods (body dimensions) to establish design criteria for barriers; evaluating the adequacy of safety information; and assessing the slip resistance of walkway surfaces.

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