Surfboard Repair

Task
Surfboard repair involves sanding down the break and brittle areas with both electric and hand sanders, filling and taping the cracks, sanding, curing the repair, and sanding again

Problem
Surfboard repair requires workers to maintain awkward upper trunk and neck flexion while operating a vibrating weight load (electric sander) for an extended duration. This has lead to complaints of back pain. The risks include sustained neck and upper back flexion, flexion at LS spine, high force gripping, and shoulder load.

Intervention
To limit awkward postures during surfboard sanding, a workstation adjustable in two axes was designed. The workstation would be able to adjust according to the worker�s height, as well as rotate towards or away from the worker. The sander used at the repair shop can be suspended from the ceiling on a balancing system in order to decrease grip force.

Cost
$1500.

Evaluation of Intervention

  • Pros
  • The body position moves towards a more neutral position with the torso and neck at a reduced angle of flexion
  • Shoulders are lowered and wrists are straightened into a more relaxed position
  • Grip force should be reduced by suspended weight of sander
  • Adjustable for workers of different sizes
  • Cons
  • Increased maintenance of equipment
  • Retraining of workers

Semi-Quantitative Evaluation of Intervention

  • Reduction of Identified Risk Factor
  • No New Risk Factors Introduced
  • Productivity not Reduced
  • Low Cost
  • Total
  • 3/5
  • 5/5
  • 5/5
  • 3/5
  • 16/20

Acknowledgements
Submitted by Krista Cole (UCSF) and Catherine Prosser (UC Berkeley)