The research aims to carry out a detailed analysis of the loads applied by the ambulance workers when loading/unloading ambulance stretchers. The forces required of the ambulance workers for each system are measured using a load cell in a force handle arrangement. The process of loading and unloading is video recorded for all the systems to register the posture of the ambulance workers in different stages of the process. The postures and forces exerted by the ambulance workers are analyzed using biomechanical assessment software to examine if the work loads at any stage of the process are harmful. Kinetic analysis of each stretcher loading system is performed. Comparison of the kinetic analysis and measurements shows very close agreement for most of the cases. The force analysis results are evaluated against derived failure criteria. The evaluation is extended to a biomechanical failure analysis of the ambulance worker's lower back using 3DSSPP software developed at the Centre for Ergonomics at the University of Michigan. The critical tasks of each ambulance worker during the loading and unloading operations for each system are identified. Design recommendations are made to reduce the forces exerted based on loading requirements from the kinetic analysis.
Cooper, G., & Ghassemieh, E. (2007). Risk assessment of patient handling with ambulance stretcher systems (ramp/(winch), easi-loader, tail-lift) using biomechanical failure criteria. Medical Engineering and Physics, 29(7), 775-787. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medengphy.2006.08.008