Feasibility of MOS Task Analysis and Redesign to Reduce Physical Demands in the U.S. Army
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
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Heavy physical demands characterize a large number of U.S. Army military occupational specialties MOSs. About 45 of the Armys 277 MOSs require at least occasional lifting of 100 pounds or more and frequent lifting of 50 pounds or more. In an effort to reduce these physical requirements, we developed and tested an Army-specific ergonomic task analysis and redesign procedure. Five MOSs were selected for this feasibility project Food Service Specialist, Medical Specialist, Motor Transport Operator, Tracked Vehicle Mechanic, and Chemical Operations Specialist. Literature review, numerous pilot investigations, and professional experience produced a multiphase process involving a review of military publications describing specific occupational tasks, b a questionnaire and structured interview with five junior and five senior soldiers working in the MOS, and c filming of tasks identified in the first two phases. Contact with military schools responsible for the MOS, project managers individuals responsible for specific pieces of equipment or projects, or military construction agencies responsible for new buildings was found useful in all phases of the process. Potential redesign solutions could also be identified at all phases with soldiers themselves an especially good source of ideas. The feasibility of the potential redesigns was discussed with the schools, project managers, or military construction personnel, and specific solutions were targeted for testing in a usability analysis. In one usability analysis, we identified and improved stretcher carrying methods by moving the stretcher load from the small muscle mass of the hands and forearms to the larger muscle mass of the shoulders and hips.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Anatomy and Physiology