The purpose of this study was to examine how wave-induced platform motion effects postural stability when handling loads. Twelve participants (9 male, 3 female) performed a sagittal lifting/lowering task with a 10 kg load in different sea conditions off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Trunk kinematics and foot center of force were measured using the Lumbar Motion Monitor and F-Scan foot pressure system respectively. During motion conditions, significant decreases in trunk velocities were accompanied by significant increases in individual foot center of pressure velocities. These results suggest that during lifting and lowering loads in moving environments, the reaction to the wave-induced postural disturbance is accompanied by a decrease in performance speed so that the task can be performed more cautiously to optimize stability.
Carolyn A. Duncan, Scott N. MacKinnon and Wayne J. Albert
Michael W. Holmes, Scott N. MacKinnon, Julie Matthews, Wayne J. Albert and Steven Mills
Seafaring occupations have been shown to place operators at an increased risk for injury. The purpose of this study was to understand better the demands of a moving environment on the ability of a person to perform specific lifting tasks. Subjects lifted a 15-kg load under four different lifting conditions. A 6-degree-of-freedom ship motion simulator imposed repeatable deck motions under foot while subjects executed the lifting tasks. Subjects were oriented in three different positions on the simulator floor to inflict different motion profiles. Electromyographic records of four muscles were collected bilaterally, and thoracolumbar kinematics were measured. A repeated-measures ANOVA was employed to assess trunk motions and muscle activities across lifting and motion conditions. The erector spinae muscles showed a trend toward significant differences for motion effects. Maximal sagittal velocities were significantly smaller for all motion states in comparison with the stable condition (p ≤ .01), whereas maximum twisting and lateral bending velocities were higher (p ≤ .05). Results suggest working in a moving environment will likely increase the operator’s risk for overexertion injuries, particularly to the trunk region.