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Short and longer duration effects of protective gloves on hand performance capabilities and subjective assessments in a screw-driving task

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The study investigated short and longer duration effects of gloves on hand performance capabilities (muscle activity, dexterity, touch sensitivity, finger pinch and forearm torque strength) and subjective assessments of discomfort and ease of manipulation when performing a light assembly task. The independent variables were hand condition with four levels (wearing cotton, nylon or nitrile gloves as well as barehanded) and point of time within the 2 h duration of the task (with measurements taken at 0, 30, 60, 90 and 120 min). Participants worked with a screwdriver to fit two components together using screws. Wearing gloves significantly increased the muscle activity, pinch strength and discomfort but reduced the dexterity and touch sensitivity. There was also a significant effect of task time on the muscle activity, dexterity, forearm torque strength and touch sensitivity, which indicates that the duration of the task should be an important consideration in glove evaluation studies and in the selection of work gloves. Statement of Relevance:It is important to evaluate the effects of gloves on hand performance capabilities in a working context so that job demands can be taken into account and the most appropriate type of glove be chosen for each task. This study gives recommendations regarding the evaluation and use of gloves for screw-driving tasks.
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Keywords: assembly task; glove; hand performance capability; screwdriver; work duration

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Occupational Health and Ergonomics, Faculty of Health and Nutrition, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Attar-e-Neishaburi St., Tabriz, Iran 2: Human Factors Research Group, Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Nottingham, University Park, UK

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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