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Enhancing Workplace Safety with Ergonomic Assessments Using REBA and RULA Powered by Computer Vision Technology

Ergonomic Assessments, REBA and RULA Assessments, Computer Vision in Ergonomics, Computer Vision in Ergonomic Assessments
Ergonomics Software: Enhancing Workplace Safety with Computer Vision

In today's rapidly evolving workplace landscape, ensuring the health and safety of employees is the first concern. While in workplaces with less physical activities, the health and safety threats are limited but not non-existent ; in case of worksites involving high level of physical labour that it becomes a challenge to monitor and ascertain health and safety of its workers. This is where the branch of Ergonomics comes into play.


According to International Ergonomics & Human Factors Association,“ Ergonomics refers to the science of work where ergon means work in Greek and nomos mean law”.


The goal of ergonomics is to facilitate the integration of human factors into its surrounding elements and increase the levels of comfort, safety, efficiency, and overall well-being. Through meticulous attention to detail and the application of scientific principles, ergonomics strives to harmonize human capabilities and limitations with the design of various elements within our environment, fostering environments that optimize human performance and satisfaction.


The application of ergonomics have found its importance across different sectors but as mentioned above the maximum challenges are found to be across the labour-intensive industries. One of the significant physical deformity that have emerged out of working in critical jobsites like manufacturing or construction is -  Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs encompass a broad range of conditions affecting the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and other supportive tissues in the body. These disorders can arise from various factors, including repetitive movements, awkward postures, forceful exertions, vibrations, and sustained periods of immobility. MSDs can cause discomfort, pain, and functional limitations, impacting an individual's ability to perform daily activities and work tasks.


WorkSafe ACT have mentioned that in 2019-20, out of the serious compensation claims being made by workers, 58% are related to MSDs leading to an estimated annual cost of $24 billion.


It is important to understand that these MSDs do not result from slips, trips, falls, or similar incidents that occur in worksites. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor, MSDs result from bodily reactions during work such as bending, climbing, crawling, reaching or twisting. Here are some interesting facts about the occurrence of MSDs that are found in workers-

  1. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) which is related to the nervous system and linked to the brain and spinal cord can result in weakness and even numbness in the hands and fingers of the workers.

  2. Injuries in the Back are one of the top ten reasons for medical visits and comprising 27% of the cases. It is followed by 13% shoulder based MSDs and 10% knee based MSDs. The back injuries can result in chronic pain among 5 to 10% of these workers.

  3. The limitation in work due to Arthritis is quite common among working adults which can result out of ergonomically inappropriate workplace layouts.

  4. Between the year 2017-18 and 2020-21, 19% of the claims in MSDs were from the construction sector and 5.4% comprised of the manufacturing sector.

OSHA mentions that MSDs leading out of work can be prevented by implementing appropriate ergonomics design. It can fit the worker to the right job based on their physical capabilities. Ergonomic assessments play a crucial role in identifying and mitigating ergonomic risks to promote worker well-being and productivity.


The world of ergonomics have been assessed using a number of methods but there are two key methodologies that are effective in ensuring workers health and safety– Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA) and Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA). Ergonomic assessments involve evaluating the interaction between workers and their work environment to identify potential hazards and implement corrective measures. REBA and RULA are established methodologies that provide structured frameworks for assessing ergonomic risks.

Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA)

REBA is a comprehensive ergonomic assessment tool that evaluates the posture and movements of workers across the entire body. It considers factors such as posture, force exertion, and repetition to assess the risk of MSDs. REBA assigns a score based on these parameters, indicating the level of ergonomic risk and recommending appropriate interventions.

Let’s consider its application in a real worksite-

Imagine a construction site where workers are engaged in heavy lifting tasks. REBA can be used to assess their posture while lifting, identifying potential risks such as awkward postures or excessive force exertion. Based on the assessment, ergonomic interventions can be implemented, such as providing lifting aids or adjusting work procedures to reduce the risk of injury.

Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA)

RULA focuses specifically on assessing the ergonomic risks associated with repetitive tasks and poor posture in the upper limbs. It evaluates factors such as wrist position, elbow angle, and frequency of movement to determine the level of risk and recommend corrective actions.

Its application in a real working facility can be understood as follows-

In a manufacturing facility where workers are involved in repetitive assembly tasks, RULA can be employed to assess their upper limb posture and movement patterns. By identifying ergonomic risk factors such as prolonged static posture or repetitive motions, interventions can be implemented to optimize workstation layout or provide ergonomic tools to mitigate the risk of MSDs.


The application of REBA and RULA in a construction worksite or in a manufacturing facility can be made more convenient and accurate with the integration of computer vision technology.


viAct is at the forefront of revolutionizing ergonomic assessments through the integration of computer vision technology. By leveraging advanced AI algorithms and real-time video analytics, viAct's solutions offer unparalleled capabilities in monitoring and optimizing workplace safety. The effective ways in which viAct’s computer vision technology provides an ergonomic advantage to workplaces are as follows-

Computer Vision in Ergonomic Assessments, Ergonomic Risk Analysis, Ergonomic Risk Assessment
Ways viAct’s Computer Vision Technology Provides an Ergonomic Advantage to Workplaces

  1. Real-time Monitoring: viAct's computer vision technology revolutionizes the way ergonomics is managed in manufacturing and construction worksites by offering real-time monitoring of workers' movements and postures. Through its sophisticated algorithms, viAct's system meticulously analyzes video feeds, capturing even minute changes in workers' actions. This enables the system to swiftly identify instances of poor ergonomics, such as awkward postures or repetitive movements, that may increase the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).   By providing immediate feedback to both workers and supervisors, viAct empowers proactive intervention to address ergonomic issues before they escalate into serious injuries. Supervisors can receive instant alerts when the system detects potentially hazardous situations, allowing them to take corrective actions promptly. Likewise, workers benefit from real-time feedback, enabling them to adjust their behaviors and adopt safer work practices on the spot.   Overall, viAct's computer vision technology not only enhances safety but also promotes a culture of ergonomics awareness in the workplace. By facilitating continuous monitoring and feedback, viAct helps organizations proactively manage ergonomic risks, ultimately leading to healthier, more productive, and safer work environments for all.

  2. Automated Assessment: viAct's computer vision technology in construction and manufacturing presents a paradigm shift in the way ergonomic assessments, specifically REBA and RULA. By leveraging advanced algorithms and real-time video analysis, viAct automates the REBA and RULA assessment processes, streamlining workflow and enhancing efficiency.   One of the key advantages of viAct's computer vision technology is its ability to automate data collection and analysis. Traditionally, ergonomic assessments require manual observation and recording of workers' movements and postures, which can be time-consuming and prone to human error. However, with viAct's system in place, this labor-intensive process is replaced with automated monitoring using cameras installed throughout the worksite. These cameras continuously capture video footage of workers performing tasks, which is then analyzed in real-time by viAct's algorithms. Through sophisticated pattern recognition algorithms, the system can detect deviations from ergonomic best practices, such as excessive bending, twisting, or reaching by using PPE detection. By categorizing these movements according to ergonomic guidelines, viAct provides valuable insights into potential risk factors and areas for improvement.   Moreover, viAct's system generates detailed reports based on the data collected during the assessment process. These reports offer a comprehensive overview of ergonomic risk levels across different tasks and workstations, allowing supervisors and safety officers to prioritize interventions effectively. By highlighting areas of concern and providing actionable recommendations, viAct empowers organizations to proactively address ergonomic hazards and mitigate the risk of workplace injuries.

  3. Instant Alerts: viAct's computer vision system offers an alert system tailored to the unique ergonomic needs of each worksite within a fraction of a second. Supervisors can configure alerts based on specific ergonomic thresholds and guidelines, such as prolonged periods of awkward posture or repetitive movements beyond recommended limits. For example, if a worker maintains an awkward posture for an extended period, the system can trigger an alert, prompting supervisors to intervene and provide corrective action. This proactive approach to ergonomic monitoring helps prevent musculoskeletal injuries by addressing potential risk factors in real-time, ensuring a safer and healthier work environment for all employees.

  4. Integration with Existing System: viAct's computer vision technology seamlessly integrates with existing safety and monitoring systems already employed in the worksites. By leveraging existing infrastructure and cameras, viAct can enhance the capabilities of these systems to include real-time ergonomic monitoring and assessment, thereby maximizing efficiency and effectiveness in promoting worker health and safety. It allows a comprehensive dashboard to access all the information called viHUB and provides an efficient way to monitor the ongoing surveillance.     In conclusion, viAct's computer vision technology represents a transformative tool in the realm of ergonomic assessment, particularly in the context of REBA and RULA methodologies within diverse worksites. By harnessing advanced machine learning algorithms and real-time video analysis, viAct empowers organizations to conduct accurate and efficient ergonomic assessments, thereby mitigating the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and enhancing workplace safety and productivity.   The ability to automate the REBA and RULA assessment processes, coupled with customizable alerts and comprehensive reporting capabilities, ensures that potential ergonomic hazards are promptly identified and addressed. This proactive approach not only minimizes the occurrence of work-related injuries but also fosters a culture of employee well-being and operational excellence.   Moreover, viAct's computer vision technology facilitates continuous monitoring of workers' movements and postures, offering valuable insights into ergonomic trends and performance metrics. This data-driven approach enables organizations to implement targeted interventions and ergonomic improvements, ultimately optimizing workforce efficiency and enhancing overall organizational performance.


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