Publications / 2013 Proceedings of the 30th ISARC, Montréal, Canada

Remote Sensing Enabling Technologies for Assessment of Construction Worker’s Musculoskeletal Disorder Risks: A Review and Future Extension

Fei Dai, Xiaopeng Ning
Pages 1305-1316 (2013 Proceedings of the 30th ISARC, Montréal, Canada, ISBN 978-1-62993-294-1, ISSN 2413-5844)

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a group of painful disorders that affect muscles, tendons, nerves, joints, cartilage, and ligaments. They are a serious problem among the workforce in the United States. In the construction industry, high physically demanding tasks expose construction workers to a number of well recognized MSDs risk factors such as repetitive motion, high force exertion, and awkward body posture. Finding ways to effectively identify and evaluate risks of MSDs can significantly alleviate this problem. To this end, this paper reviews state of practice and research in the assessment of risks of MSDs among construction workers, in which a number of biomechanical models have been developed to evaluate joint and tissue loading with the aid of state-of-the-art remote sensing technologies. Findings from the review reveal that despite the advances in tracking human motion and muscle activities, current remote sensing approaches still involve sophisticated instrumentation and expensive experiment setup. These factors greatly limited the applicability of such approaches in real construction settings. How can we detect and evaluate the construction worker’s MSDs risk in real work environments? In this paper, strategies by utilizing video surveillance systems are presented, to set the stage for addressing the above question and discussing future research in real-time, marker-less, and costeffective MSDs risk assessment.

Keywords: Ergonomics, musculoskeletal disorders, construction workers, safety, image-based methods