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Appl Ergon. 2013 Sep;44(5):785-91. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2013.01.009. Epub 2013 Feb 12.

User-oriented evaluation of mechanical single-channel axial pipettes.

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  • 1Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, FI-00250 Helsinki, Finland. erja.sormunen@ttl.fi

Abstract

Hand tools should be designed so that they are comfortable to use, fit the hand and are user-oriented. Six different manual, single-channel axial pipettes were evaluated for such objective outcomes as muscular activity, wrist postures and efficiency, as well as for subjective outcomes concerning self-assessed features of pipette usability and musculoskeletal strain. Ten experienced laboratory employees volunteered for the study. The results showed that light and short pipettes with better tool comfort resulted in reduced muscular activity and perceived musculoskeletal strain when they were compared with a long and heavy pipette. There were no differences in the efficiency between the different pipettes. Combining both the objective and subjective measures enabled a broader evaluation of product usability. The results of this study can be used both in product development and as information on which to base the purchase of new pipettes for laboratory work.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

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