In the new series, Ergo U: Ergonomics Research Notes from the Field, Humantech ergonomist Blake McGowan meets with ergonomics researchers from leading universities and associations across the country to share their latest findings.
Field Notes: Blake had the opportunity to tour the facility where Drs. Stover Snook and Vincent Ciriello developed the psychophysical tables for lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling and carrying. Wayne Maynard, Product Director of Workers’ Compensation, Ergonomics, and Tribology for Liberty Mutual Insurance, provided the tour. Currently, The Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety and the Center for Physical Ergonomics conducts research into the causes and mechanisms of injuries with a focus on musculoskeletal disorders.
Blake’s Take: “It was a thrill to see the actual data collection equipment and data logs that Drs. Snook and Ciriello used.” Today, these fundamental tables are standard in the field of ergonomics and are used daily by practitioners in the workplace. “It was a pleasure to meet with Wayne, hear the history of research activities, and learn what the center is currently studying.” The Institute has an active research program related to mechanisms of injuries during manual material handling, computer use, and tool use.
About the Expert: Since 1995, Wayne S. Maynard has held technical and product development leadership positions within Liberty Mutual Risk Control while also leading the Ergonomics and Tribology safety practices.
Additional Activities: While in Massachusetts, Blake also met with Dr. Jack Dennerlein from the Department of Physical Therapy, Movement & Rehabilitation Science at Northeastern University to learn about his research on mobile technology and MSD risks and the NIOSH Total Worker Health initiative. He learned that The Total Worker Health (TWH) approach advocates for a holistic understanding of the factors that contribute to worker well-being.