From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Ergonomics- Drill Spindle

Task Prior to Abatement (Description)

This is a fictitious job but reflective of common work situations on an auto assembly line.

Worker position: Worker is wearing bulky gloves and standing adjacent to overhead conveyor and drill machine.

Get spindles: The worker reaches for spindles being carried in a bin delivered by an overhead conveyor.

Drill spindles: The spindles are put into a drill machine which is activated by two palm buttons located above shoulder height.

Return spindles: The spindles are taken from the drill machine and placed in a bin attached to an overhead conveyor.

Task Prior to Abatement (Illustration)


Ergonomic Risk Factor (Force)

Bulky gloves and cutting fluid interfere with handling spindles.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Mechanical)

A sharp edge rubs against the left wrist when reaching for palm buttons.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Posture)

Reaching to get the spindles from the overhead conveyor stresses shoulder tissues.

Reaching to operate the palm buttons on the drill machine stresses shoulder tissues.

Ergonomic Solution (Engineering Controls)

Lower the overhead conveyors to reduce reaching for and returning the spindles.

Relocate palm buttons to a lower position such that reaching is minimized while still providing adequate protection.

Eliminate sharp edges adjacent to the palm buttons.
Provide a wide selection of glove types and sizes so that workers can select preferred gloves.

Ergonomic Solution (Illustration)


Armstrong, Thomas J.; Fine, Lawrence J.; Joseph, Bradley; and Silverstein, Barbara. Analysis of Selected Jobs for Control of Cumulative Trauma Disorders in Automobile Plants. Ann Arbor, Michigan: The University of Michigan, 1984.