Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department
BS in Industrial Engineering
Lizabeth T. Schlemer
The hoes are widely used in the farms and home gardens in the United States. Many existing hoes are not ergonomically designed because they require a lot of back bending and wrist bending during use. Back bending often causes lower back injuries, and wrist bending often causes carpal tunnel syndrome. It can be very expensive to cure these injuries. The objective of this project is to reduce back bending and wrist bending by redesigning the hoe in an ergonomic perspective. In order to achieve the objective, ergonomics and human factors concepts are applied in the design. Two additional side handles are added to the traditional long handle. The user will have the option to choose one additional handle or two additional handles. Therefore, the redesigned hoe will be able to reduce back bending and wrist bending. An experiment and a statistical analysis are provided to justify whether the improvements on the redesigned hoe are statistically significant or not. The result of the statistical analysis shows that there is significant improvement on back bending and wrist bending. The economic analysis shows that the additional material and labor cost are relatively small in comparison to the medical cost for treatment of farm tool related injuries.