One of the park and street workers many tools, is the traditional broom. The
broom is used to tidy up surfaces where machines can’t reach, such as; underneath
benches, in corners and smaller areas. Using a traditional broom requires a twisted
and forward leaning body posture that, if performed during an extended time
period, can result in musculoskeletal problems and negative impact on the health.
This project aimed to develop a new cleaning tool to reduce the forward-leaning,
twisted body posture.
This thesis used a product development methodology and a biomechanical
analysis to fulfil, and evidence base the aim. Review of the literature,
biomechanical analysis and benchmarking were used to set requirement
specifications for this project. The project applied David G Ullman's iterative
product development methodology, including brainstorming, quality function
deployment, morphology, Pugh´s matrix and a failure mode effects analysis.
Furthermore, a functional prototype was built as a last step of the development
Evaluation of the prototype, in comparison to the traditional broom, was
performed using 3D movement analysis (Qualisys motion capture system) and
surface electromyography (Mega 8 channel system) on one test person.
The project resulted in a physically functional prototype that can be used for
similar tasks as a traditional broom. The concept design dictates the user to push
the cleaning tool in front of the body with postural symmetry in all three planes.
The comparison between a traditional broom and the prototype showed a
reduction in muscle activity when using the prototype. Furthermore, the
movement analysis showed a working posture with less forward leaning and back
rotation. Furthermore, the participant could keep neutral angles in the shoulders
and wrists throughout the task. Note that, the biomechanical analyzes was only
made on one test person which is not enough to conclude that the prototype
contributes to a more healthy working posture.