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Validation of an ergonomic assessment method using Kinect data in real workplace conditions

Plantard, Pierre; Shum, Hubert P.H.; Le Pierres, Anne-Sophie; Multon, Franck


Pierre Plantard

Anne-Sophie Le Pierres

Franck Multon


Evaluating potential musculoskeletal disorders risks in real workstations is challenging as the environment is cluttered, which makes it difficult to accurately assess workers' postures. Being marker-free and calibration-free, Microsoft Kinect is a promising device although it may be sensitive to occlusions. We propose and evaluate a RULA ergonomic assessment in real work conditions using recently published occlusion-resistant Kinect skeleton data correction. First, we compared postures estimated with this method to ground-truth data, in standardized laboratory conditions. Second, we compared RULA scores to those provided by two professional experts, in a non-laboratory cluttered workplace condition. The results show that the corrected Kinect data can provide more accurate RULA grand scores, even under sub-optimal conditions induced by the workplace environment. This study opens new perspectives in musculoskeletal risk assessment as it provides the ergonomists with 30 Hz continuous information that could be analyzed offline and in a real-time framework.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 27, 2016
Online Publication Date Nov 4, 2016
Publication Date Nov 1, 2017
Deposit Date Sep 1, 2020
Journal Applied Ergonomics
Print ISSN 0003-6870
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 65
Pages 562-569
Public URL