• Alberto Ranavolo
  • Arash Ajoudani
  • Andrea Cherubini
  • Matteo Bianchi
  • Lars Fritzsche
  • Sergio Iavicoli
  • Massimo Sartori
  • Alessio Silvetti
  • Bram Vanderborght
  • Tiwana Varrecchia
  • Francesco Draicchio
The several approaches for biomechanical risk assessment of manual handling tasks used to prevent the work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMDs) and considered within the International Standards for ergonomics, are getting hard to apply due to the epochal changes introduced by “Industry 4.0”. In fact, the innovative Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC) systems are widening the number of work motor tasks that cannot be assessed. On the other hand, new sensors-based tools for biomechanical risk assessment could be used for both quantitative “direct instrumental evaluations” and “rating of standard methods”, allowing certain improvements over traditional methods. In this light, this Letter aims at detecting the needs for revising standards for human ergonomics and biomechanical risk assessment by analysing the WMDs prevalence and incidence, strengths and weaknesses of traditional methods listed within the International Standards for manual handling activities and next challenges needed for their revision. As representative example, the discussion is referred to the lifting of heavy loads where the revision should include the use of sensors-based tools for biomechanical risk assessment during lifting performed with the use of exoskeletons, by more than one person (team lifting) and when the traditional methods cannot be applied. The wearability of sensing and feedback sensors in addition to human augmentation technologies allows for increasing workers’ awareness about possible risks and enhance the effectiveness and safety during the execution of in many manual handling activities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5750
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2020

ID: 53928585