Ergonomic Analysis of Workers During Cannabis Cultivation Activities to Reduce Musculoskeletal Injury
Winner: Lockheed Martin Best Project Award
The National Cannabis Risk Management Association (NCMRA) is interested in minimizing the strain undergone by cannabis workers, specifically at the trimming station, to reduce repetitive motion injuries and ensure worker safety. The team determined that creating an ergonomic table would best improve worker safety.
– Characterize worker motion during cannabis trimming for the purpose of assessing musculoskeletal strain and to identify areas in need of improved methods and equipment.
– Propose and design standardized equipment (chair type and height, table shape and height, and clipper design) and methods to reduce musculoskeletal strain during trimming.
– Participate in weekly advisor and sponsor calls to gather information on the industry and discuss the plan of action.
– Research cannabis and ergonomic literature to familiarize with the current workplace setup.
– Use general workspace postural data to create the drawings and a Solidworks model of the ergonomic table.
– Design a two factor two-level experiment to analyze the standard and ergonomic table as well as the curved/straight blade trimmers.
– Collect data from the NCRMA that was collected using Noraxon’s software via sensors on various parts of the test subject’s body throughout the study.
– Analyze the anatomical angles and EMG activity collected for the standard and ergonomic table as well as the two trimmers.
The ergonomic table has shown improvements in the cervical spine, pelvis, and elbow flexion angles:
– The cervical spine showed a 50% decrease in average angle looking down (cervical flexion).
– The pelvic tilt decreased causing a reduction in noticeable lower back pain in the test subject.
– The elbow flexion angles are within the safe region 100% of the time when using the ergonomic table.
– The impact of straight blade trimmers and curved blade trimmers showed mixed results, but further studies would be more conclusive.