Date of Award

Spring 2002

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Ergonomic evaluation of tasks and subsequent interventions are in their infancy in the electric power industry, which experiences a high rate of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), such as shoulder tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. One of the most strenuous tasks performed by line workers is connecting wires with a manual compression tool. Ergonomic teams have been established and subjective assessments have been conducted at some utilities across the U.S.; however, to the author's knowledge, no previous studies have examined the biomechanical stresses from connecting wires with manual and battery presses. There is currently no information on the muscle loading experienced by the major torso and upper extremity muscles while connecting wires. The research conducted in this study addressed this research void by measuring the external forces required to connect wires manually and also muscle activity of the deltoid, flexor cligitorum superficialis, extensor cligitorum communis, and erector spinae. The results and recommendations from this study can aid safety and health professionals in the electric utility industry in their efforts to reduce the severity and incidence of MSDs afflicting overhead line workers. The target audience for this study is the electric power industry in the United States, and therefore the data and results are presented in standard English units.



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