From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Ergonomics- Rear Vehicle Seat Assembly

Task Prior to Abatement (Description)

An ergonomic case study for rear vehicle seat assembly. Workers had to attach more than 40 fasteners with one hand using an air tool in about one minute.

Workers used the other hand to hold the seat’s cover and foam padding in place.

Task Prior to Abatement (Method Which Identified Hazard)

  • Increasing rate of CTDs related injuries.
  • 1136 CTD-related lost work-days in 1993
  • CTDs include tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, sprains and strains.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Force)

High force was involved to perform the task.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Posture)

Awkward posture was required to perform the task.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Repetition)

The task required high repetition.

Ergonomic Solution (Administrative Controls)

  1. Ergonomics training was provided.
  2. A job rotation program was established.

Ergonomic Solution (Engineering Controls)

  1. Seat covers were redesigned in order to decrease the number of fasteners by more than 50 percent.
  2. A compression tool was provided to clamp the foam padding to the seat.
  3. Adjustable workstations were installed.
  4. Electric torque guns were provided.

Ergonomic Solution (Benefits)

  • All workers that perform the task now have reduced exposure to CTDs.
  • Productivity has increased.
  • Reduction in job training costs.
  • Having a healthier work force.

Ergonomic Solution (Method Which Verified Effectiveness)

Reduction of CTD related lost workdays to 335 in 1994 (A 70 percent improvement).


Early reporting of work-related injuries may pay off in the future by avoiding full-blown CTD incidents.