Applied force and sEMG muscle activity required to operate pistol grip control in an electric utility aerial bucket

Richard W. Marklin, Jonathon E. Slightam, Mark L. Nagurka, Trent M. Wolff, Casey D. Garces, Lovely Krishen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Electric utility line workers report high levels of fatigue in forearm muscles when operating a conventional pistol grip control in aerial buckets. This study measured the applied force and surface electromyographic (sEMG) signals from four upper extremity muscles required to operate the pistol grip control in two tasks. The first task was movement of the pistol grip in six directions (up/down, forward/rearward, clockwise/counter-clockwise), and the second task was movement of the bucket from its resting position on the truck bed to an overhead conductor on top of a 40 ft tall pole. The force applied to the pistol grip was measured in 14 aerial bucket trucks, and sEMG activity was measured on eight apprentice line workers. The applied force required to move the pistol grip control in the six directions ranged from 12 to 15 lb. The sEMG activity in the extensor digitorum communis (EDC) forearm muscle was approximately twice as great or more than the other three muscles (flexor digitorum superficialis, triceps, and biceps). Line workers exerted 14 to 30% MVCEMG to move the pistol grip in the six directions. Average %MVCEMG of the EDC to move the bucket from the truck platform to an overhead line ranged from 26 to 30% across the four phases of the task. The sEMG findings from this study provide physiologic evidence to support the anecdotal reports of muscle fatigue from line workers after using the pistol grip control for repeated, long durations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2017 International Annual Meeting, HFES 2017
PublisherHuman Factors an Ergonomics Society Inc.
Pages963-967
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780945289531
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventHuman Factors and Ergonomics Society 2017 International Annual Meeting, HFES 2017 - Austin, United States
Duration: 9 Oct 201713 Oct 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Volume2017-October
ISSN (Print)1071-1813

Conference

ConferenceHuman Factors and Ergonomics Society 2017 International Annual Meeting, HFES 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAustin
Period9/10/1713/10/17

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