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The effect of harness suspension on a simulated maintenance task efficacy in the renewable energy industry.

Stewart, Arthur D.; Gardiner, Matthew; MacDonald, Jonathan; Williams, Hector

Authors

Matthew Gardiner

Jonathan MacDonald

Hector Williams



Abstract

Building, bridge or wind turbine maintenance requires manual dexterity tasks by a specialist rope-access trained workforce via two principal means: harness suspension of individual workers from above, or deployment of a suspended platform or cradle from which workers access the structure to be maintained. Currently no published research compares accuracy and efficiency of simulated maintenance tasks between these modalities. This study investigated manual dexterity task performance of peg placement and shape delineation in seated, standing and suspended environments in 16 healthy controls and 26 professional rope-access trained individuals. Both seated and standing assessments were superior to those suspended, and height of suspension, total mass and years of experience had no influence on the task outcome. These findings suggest that, where feasible, cradle suspension mechanisms which permit standing maintenance are favourable in terms of task efficacy and where feasible, should be considered for deployment in wind energy and other engineering applications.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 31, 2021
Journal Applied ergonomics
Print ISSN 0003-6870
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 90
Article Number 103247
Institution Citation STEWART, A.D., GARDINER, M., MACDONALD, J. and WILLIAMS, H. 2021. The effect of harness suspension on a simulated maintenance task efficacy in the renewable energy industry. Applied ergonomics [online], 90, article ID 103247. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2020.103247
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2020.103247
Keywords Rope-access; Harness suspension; Task performance; Pegboard; Shape delineation
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