Applied anthropometry for common industrial settings design: Working and ideal manual handling heights

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Anthropometry has been used extensively for designing safe and sustainable products and workplaces. However, it is common that designers need straightforward guidelines and dimensions, which they often lack, for specific design situations. Anthropometric data are usually presented in tables that summarize percentile values, separated by gender, of a specific population, which makes it difficult for designers to generate applications for mixed populations, such as industrial settings. Using a recently collected anthropometric database of Chilean workers (male and female), international standards of dimensions for working height, depth, and ideal manual handling height are tested with univariate and bivariate methods. Alternative dimensions are presented for both adjustable and non-adjustable designs. Additionally, procedures to combine samples, and for knowing how many users match with a particular design are explained using the sample data. As expected, adjustable designs proved to match with higher numbers of users, while non-adjustable dimensions recommended by ISO presented low levels of matching. Furthermore, the non-adjustable design achieved 83% of matching, which increased to the desired levels (90%) with the inclusion of a 50 mm increase platform. Finally, the Z-Score equation proved to be a useful tool to know the percentages of the population that are matched with a particular design dimension. Relevance for the industry: Dimensions for working height, depth, and ideal manual handling heights, which are currently not available, are provided for Chilean workers. A method to determine the matching percentage in a population is explained, in order to assess matching probabilities when having only summarized anthropometric tables and the dimensions for the design itself.
Anthropometrics, Assembly task, Manual handling, Working height