Access Ability Inc.
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Access Ability Inc is a metal fabrication company who also
manufactures a line of building access ramp products. Some of
the subparts to these products require the welding and grinding
of multiple seams on each part to complete them. This handling
requirement has lead to repetitive motion concerns as well as
safety concerns of trying to handle parts with one hand while
running a hand grinder with the single remaining hand. This solution
would require a quick change fixturing solution that could hold
various shaped parts in a variety of orientations.
The solution resulted in the selection of an off the shelf
welding indexer, having a remote foot speed control pedal. It
was fitted with a custom designed quick change clamping fixture.
The fixture can be easily adjusted to fit different shaped parts,
and features a sliding clamp jaw that is unclamped with the ¼
turn of a lever. The indexing face allows access of up to 5 sides
of a part in one setup, which greatly reduces the repetitive
handling of the parts. The fixturing face of the indexer may
also be tilted in a range from horizontal, to vertical. The assembly
is mounted to an adjustable height work cart to allow the device
and work to be raised or lowered, and locked to an optimum work
height, to further reduce related ergonomic issues.
Access Ability employee Gale Schmidt reported discomfort levels
in the pre-project discomfort survey (on the 0 to 10 scale) as
follows: lower back- 8, abdominals- 6, neck, shoulders, upper
back all rated 4, elbows, forearms, knees all rated 3, hand &
wrist rated 2. Following the introduction of the welding manipulator
the post-project discomfort survey indicated a rating of 0 (no
discomfort) related to the small parts grinding tasks. One can
conclude based on the results of the pre and post ergonomic assessments
along with the pre and post-project discomfort surveys, that
the initial MSD risk factors found in the small parts grinding
tasks have been significantly reduced by the engineering controls
and ergonomic improvements implemented.
- Access Ability Inc.- Gale Schmidt
- OMEP - Pat Kraft
- Oregon OSHA - Mark Hurliman
- CAD files and Wire Model files are available for review.
Contact Oregon OSHA Standards & Technical Section, (503)
378-3272 toll free in Oregon, (800)