B.C. Matthews Hall
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave. West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
519-888-4567, ext. 45513
To reduce the likelihood of work-related musculoskeletal overexertion injuries, a common approach in ergonomics involves the evaluation of task demands with respect to the physical capacity of the population. Due to the complexity of the workplace, and the myriad of possible task conditions, ergonomists and industrial engineers have relied on sophisticated digital human models (DHMs) to analyze the feasibility of tasks on a number of fronts, including: analyses of hand clearance, reach, line-of-sight, spine compression/shear and strength capabilities. Aside from the ability to model complex postures and task characteristics, DHMs allow for proactive ergonomics assessments, where workplaces and tasks can be assessed virtually before they ever exist in reality. This proactive ergonomics approach can result in substantial cost savings to industry and has the potential to drastically reduce workplace injury.
In this webinar
This webinar will focus on the application of DHMs for determining acceptable manual forces in industry. Dr. La Delfa will address fundamental limitations with how DHMs were traditionally used to estimate manual arm strength capability, leading to the development and eventual implementation of the Arm Force Field Method, which he developed in his doctoral thesis with Dr. Jim Potvin. The Arm Force Field has since been implemented within leading DHM software platforms, including Jack (Siemens) and Santos (SantosHuman Inc.).
About the Presenter
Dr. Nick La Delfa is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, Ontario. Dr. La Delfa completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at McMaster University, under the supervision of Dr. Jim Potvin, with a focus in occupational biomechanics and proactive ergonomics. He then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Waterloo, where he trained with Dr. Clark Dickerson in the areas of clinical and occupational shoulder biomechanics.
The overall objective of Dr. La Delfa’s research is to reduce the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders through the advancement of our knowledge on human capability, function and performance. He employs a multi-faceted approach that spans from fundamental inquiry, to the development of applied methods and technologies that are readily accessible to ergonomists on the front lines of proactive injury prevention. His basic research evaluates the capacity of the human body to perform work. Specifically, he studies how certain neuromuscular responses to prolonged and/or repetitive work, such as muscle fatigue and adapted motor control, are affected by common interacting work characteristics (e.g. force, repetition, posture, mental demand) and worker attributes (e.g. sex, body composition, age). Dr. La Delfa endeavours to translate his research into advanced methods that proactively assess injury risk, with particular emphasis being placed on integrating his work within digital human modeling and proactive work simulation processes. By doing so, work tasks can be assessed virtually, early in the design phase, well before they ever exist in reality - saving both workers and employers from the financial, physical and emotional burdens of work-related musculoskeletal injuries.
Disclaimer: The Centre receives funding through a grant provided by the Ontario Ministry of Labour. The views expressed are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre nor of the Province.