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.. | Volume 5 Number 1, 1999

Volume 5 Number 1, 1999




Assessment of Wood Utility Pole Climbability Using Psychophysical and Mechanical Measurements
Yves Beauchamp, Marc Thomas, Jean Arteau, Denis Marchand

The issue of climbability has been raised on several occasions for more than a decade in North America. Presently, climbability is estimated from the pole hardness measured by the Pilodyn measurements (6 J). However, the use of Pilodyn measurements to discriminate the pole hardness value is criticized by climbers, who claim that the Pilodyn hardness measurement is affected by species-treatment combinations and that it does not reflect gaff penetration or climbability. Furthermore, climbability evaluations have been conducted in which test poles were climbed by linemen, and corresponding subjective ratings were recorded. However, the ability of psychophysical measurements to accurately discriminate close hardness pole values and to differentiate species-treatment combinations at specific hardness levels have not yet been fully documented. The aim of this study is to evaluate the psychophysical perception of linemen and the mechanical measurements of gaff penetration and gaff impact during the climbing of different wood species and treatment combinations in order to compare these results with Pilodyn measurements within a precise range of pole hardnesses, to study the relationships between these variables, and, finally, to propose various design guidelines for the development of a better tool for the evaluation of climbability.

Pulse Nebulization in Pneumatic Devices
Leon Gradoń, Tomasz R. Sosnowski, Zygmunt Podolec

Aerosols of a physiological salt solution and aqueous solutions of salbutamol, sodium cromoglicate, and dornase alfa were generated in a pneumatic nebulizer and analyzed in a system with controlled humidity of air as a carrier gas. Mass distribution of aerosol particles and yield of generation for pulse nebulization were measured. Pulsation of generation was realized with an attachment maintained by a computer program. Opening times of the valve were in the range 50-800 ms. The results indicate the possibility of improving aerosol particle delivery to the lung using a pulse generation system.

Evaluating the Potential Occupational Hazard of Handling Dental Polymer Products Using the HET-CAM Technique
Emma-Christin Lönnroth, Jon E. Dahl, Houshang Shahnavaz

The irritation potencies of 8 dental polymer products, used as dental restorative materials, adhesives, or temporary constructions, were tested using the HET-CAM (hen's egg test-chorioallantoic membrane) technique. Liquid and powder components, and extracts of cured and freshly mixed non-cured materials of 5 glass ionomers, 1 bonding, 1 composite, and 1 cold-cured acrylate were examined. Results showed that the liquid component of all products had a strong irritation capacity but powder suspensions and extracts from cured, and freshly mixed non-cured materials had no effect on the CAM. Thus, dental personnel who handle liquid and powder manually are exposed to components with a high irritation potential, in contrast to patients who are exposed to the cured and mixed non-cured materials, with low irritation potential. This illustrates the importance of safe handling procedures and practices for dental personnel who handle non-cured polymers manually.

Mechanical Equipment Injuries in Small Manufacturing Businesses. Knowledge, Behavioral, and Management Issues
Dianne Gardner, James Carlopio, Petra N. Fonteyn, Jean A. Cross

This paper presents findings from an extensive study into factors that impact upon the high rate of injuries due to mechanical equipment, especially in small manufacturing firms. Issues relating to knowledge of health and safety issues and to management practices have been shown to be extremely important with regards to safety in small businesses. Knowledge and awareness of hazards were found to be relatively low and few respondents, especially managers, had received adequate safety training. Managers did not regard the identification and control of risks as a priority. Workplaces generally lacked effective safety management procedures such as safety rules and regulations, procedures for recording and learning from accidents, and clearly defined responsibilities for safety. Some issues requiring further investigation, and some recommendations for improving safety in small businesses, are presented.

Effects of Synthesized Voice Warning Parameters on Perceived Urgency
Kyung S. Park, Phil S. Jang

The effects of synthesized voice warning parameters on perceived urgency were examined in order to build a detailed and usable description of the relation between the parameters of synthesized voice warnings and perceived urgency. Ten native and 10 non-native English speakers participated in 4 experiments to evaluate and quantify the effects of the voice parameters. The results showed that speech rate, average fundamental frequency (F0), voice type, and fundamental frequency contour have clear effects on the perceived urgency of synthesized voice warnings. The effects of quantitative parameters on perceived urgency were scaled using an application of Stevens's power law (1957). In addition, the results showed significant differences in the perceived urgency of average F0 and F0 contour types between native and non-native English speakers. Implications of the results for the design and improvement of synthesized voice warnings are discussed.

Computerized Method for Work Space Optimization in Conditions of Static Work
Danuta Roman-Liu, Krzysztof Kędzior, Cezary Rzymkowski

The aim of this research was to develop a theoretical method for the ergonomic optimization of the work space of the upper limb. This method is based on a model of the upper extremity with 7 degrees of freedom. It consists of 3 rigid elements modeling the arm, forearm, and hand and 34 upper extremity muscles. The trunk is considered immobile. The shoulder joint is modeled as a rotating kinematics pair of third class, the elbow and wrist joints-of fourth class. The minimum sum of muscle force moments in the joints and soft saturation muscle cooperation criterion were used as merit criteria. The developed method makes it possible to effectively solve, in a defined work space, the task of work space optimization.

Experimental Verification of the Computerized Method for Work Space Optimization in Conditions of Static Work
Danuta Roman-Liu, Adam Wittek, Krzysztof Kędzior

The aim of this study was to verify a theoretical model for upper extremity work space optimization. In order to do that, experimental studies in which two parameters of the electromyography (EMG) signal were analyzed: AMP (amplitude calculated as Root Mean Square) and SZC (coefficient of the slope of the regression line between time and Zero Crossing values). Values of forces in muscles (parameter MOD) were calculated from theoretical studies. A comparison of experimental (AMP, SZC) and theoretical (MOD) parameters was performed by analyzing the coefficient of correlation between those parameters and differentiation of muscular load according to external load value. Analysis showed that the theoretical and experimental results are in step, which means that the developed model can be used for upper extremity work space optimization.

Ergonomic Aspects of a Virtual Environment
M. Rabiul Ahasan, Seppo Väyrynen

A virtual environment is an interactive graphic system mediated through computer technology that allows a certain level of reality or a sense of presence to access virtual information. To create reality in a virtual environment, ergonomics issues are explored in this paper, aiming to develop the design of presentation formats with related information, that is possible to attain and to maintain user-friendly application.

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