This research utilized the psychophysical methodology, where secrw drivers are used, to determine the effects of i) the location and orientation of work objects, and ii) wearing gloves, on ratings of perceived exertion at various body parts. The validity of the psychophysical methodology in determining a preferred work pace was also studied. The subjects drove screws with a screw driver into thick wooden sheet at three vertical and three horizontal locations. They drove serews for 3 minutes at each location and assessed the condition using the psychophysical scale. The results showed that only the vertical location was a significant factor in determining the discomfort ratings. Driving screws at elbow height on the vertical surface and with the lower arm close to the body on the horizontal surface were the work locations with the smallest ratings of perceived discomfort. Wearing gloves had significant effects on reducing the pain of the hand. From the experiment in which a comfortable work pace was identified using 20 minute psychophysical adjustment, it was found that the psychophysical method is sensitive to workers perception of the physical stress when the upper limbs are employed. This was confirmend by the high correlation between the psychophysical results and EMG measurement.
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