Adoption of ergonomic features in a new reach truck cabin design – a usability study
Journal article, 2012
The task of handling reach trucks frequently involves poor working postures. The location of the steering wheel in most reach trucks is in front of the operator which requires the drivers to bend forward and stretch their hands for holding onto the steering wheel. To overcome visibility restrictions, this posture is aggravated by twisting and bending their torso sideways. This paper presents a usability study which was conducted to compare adoption of ergonomic features in a new reach truck cabin with the way they were intended to be employed for improving physical working conditions. Participants drove the reach truck on a test track performing tasks of varying complexity. Video recordings were utilized to facilitate the observations. The results indicate that improved ergonomics features of the reach truck are not used as intended. The test subjects instead adopted postures that they were accustomed to when driving common reach trucks. The possible contributing factors to this posture regression are discussed. The procedure used in this study is recommended for the companies to determine the effectiveness and adoption of ergonomics solutions.