Ergonomic Study Of Innovative Waste Receptacle Design

Contributed by N.S. Industrial & Design.
Over 2 million people within the United States work in the janitorial industry. Back and shoulder injuries are the two leading injuries reported by the U.S. Department of Labor (2010) often related to the actions of lifting and emptying of trash receptacles.
N.S. Industrial & Design (NSID) has developed a trash receptacle, the REV 360, which reduces musculoskeletal demands imposed on janitorial staff. An ergonomic study, sponsored by NSID, but independently conducted by the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota, investigated the biomechanics of the emptying action for three different receptacles; the REV 360 receptacle and two traditional receptacles.
The University of Minnesota study revealed that when compared to a traditional 32-gallon waste receptacle, the emptying of trash liners from the REV 360 trash receptacle was associated with reductions in:
 • shoulder and lower back muscle activity (up to 64 percent)
 • the necessary shoulder torques for lifting (60-80 percent)
 • the necessary hip torques for lifting and trunk stabilization (roughly 18 percent)
 • the necessary shoulder flexion (vertical lifting action) (roughly 26 percent)
It was concluded that the REV 360 design has the potential to reduce lower back and shoulder injuries and to promote a healthy work place for janitorial workers.

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