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Multidisciplinary study of biological parameters and fatigue progression in quay crane operators

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Claudia Pinna


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In intermodal terminals the handling of containers and the number of accidents still depends on a wide range of human errors due to fatigue despite the automation level reached nowadays. For this reason it is very important to increase knowledge about the factors affecting the propensity of operators to make errors, increasing the chance of accidents happening. The aim of this work is to propose a novel approach to assess fatigue and performance levels in quay crane operators as a function of physiological parameters and of the many varying boundary conditions encountered in daily work. During their work, quay crane operators have to deal with variable environmental conditions, such as task type, wind speed and direction, lighting conditions that reduce visibility that can require an exacting level of attention. In the trial eight operators have been examined in a session lasting four hours. All actual conditions are reproduced through a fully immersive quay crane simulator. The operator completes the assigned task (the same for each one) and can see through four wide monitors a high quality virtual reality view of the simulation. Most biological parameters are acquired using different devices including a Holter ECG monitor, electromyographic monitoring the four trunk muscles most involved in the test, eye tracker and seat-body pressure interface for both seat pan and backrest. Changes in physiological parameters have been monitored during the trial and interesting correlations with performance levels and boundary conditions have been found for each operator, in accordance with their age and skills. The present study can form the basis for further investigations aimed at developing a cost effective, reliable and robust system for monitoring increasing fatigue and for predicting the critical conditions that may result in an accident.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fadda P, Meloni M, Fancello G, Pau M, Medda A, Pinna C, DelRio A, Lecca LI, Setzu D, Leban B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Procedia Manufacturing

Year: 2015

Volume: 3

Pages: 3301-3308

Online publication date: 23/10/2015

ISSN (print): 2376-4244

ISSN (electronic): 2376-4252

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.promfg.2015.07.410


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