Ergonomics Working Group

Registering Discomfort Ergonomic Assessment of a Defense Agency Check Stand

A.L. Cutler, U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

An ergonomics team from the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine performed an ergonomics assessment of a new commissary check stand. One of the objectives was to determine the risk of developing work?related musculoskeletal disorders among cashiers. The check stand was designed without considering the anthropometrics of the user population or their expectations concerning audio feedback and equipment controls and their workplace control needs. Taller cashiers worked with their necks and backs in awkward postures. As a remedy, the team suggested adjustable sit?stand stools to accommodate taller cashiers and to reduce back and leg strain due to long periods of standing. Cashiers often double?scanned items unnecessarily due to delays in audio feedback (beeps). The ergonomics team suggested real?time audio feedback with a volume control to discourage excessive scans. The global user interface design of the computer software forced cashiers to navigate and scroll through excessive screens to reach crucial product information. The team suggested screen shortcuts to encourage keying as an alternative to hand?scanning heavy items and encouraged prototype design testing with samples of the user population.

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