RMASB 2022 Conference

After a 2-year hiatus from in-person conference participation, we made the trek across Wyoming to attend and participate in the 12th Annual RMASB Meeting (Rocky Mountain ASB (google.com). We caught up with old friends and connected with new people to form exciting collaborations.

Our E&S students were well represented:

Nick Gomez: Upper-extremity kinematics and interlimb coordination of persons with Parkinson’s disease are sensitive to the environment

Jamie Herridge: Leveraging Prehistoric Footwear to Reconstruct Ancient Running Biomechanics

Katie Allen: Quantifying Upper Body Postures with a Motion Sensing Garment

Classifying Hazardous Movements Using Instrumented Insoles

Dr. Mitja Trkov lead this research as a Post-Doctoral Trainee in the Ergonomics and Safety Lab. We are thrilled to have the work published in Applied Ergonomics and invite you to access the article using the link below:

Classifying hazardous movements and loads during manual materials handling using accelerometers and instrumented insoles – ScienceDirect

We present a machine learning algorithm to detect and classify MMH tasks using minimally-intrusive instrumented insoles and chest-mounted accelerometers. Six participants performed standing, walking, lifting/lowering, carrying, side-to-side load transferring (i.e., 5.7 kg and 12.5 kg), and pushing/pulling. Lifting and carrying loads as well as hazardous behaviors (i.e., stooping, overextending and jerky lifting) were detected with 85.3%/81.5% average accuracies with/without chest accelerometer. The proposed system allows for continuous exposure assessment during MMH and provides objective data for use with analytical risk assessment models that can be used to increase workplace safety through exposure estimation.

IV Pole Redesign

A group of senior Mechanical Engineering students redesigned an IV pole for safer use by solving the problem of cord and tube management while making the IV pole more ergonomic. The project was advised by Professor Andrew Merryweather as part of the Capstone Course at the University of Utah. The new design provides better access for connecting pumps and accessories to the IV Pole, manages cords and tubing, and prevents tripping over the power cord using a creative magnetic breakaway plug.

Group Members: Hamam AlOraimi, Taylor Cook, Ricardo Nicolia, Ryan Wilcox, Austin Williams

Smart Insoles – Lifting Coach

Senior Mechanical Engineering students advised by Professor Andrew Merryweather showcased their work during Design Day. The purpose of the insoles is to quantify biomechanical loading to understand risk and reduce musculoskeletal injuries from material handling. I’m proud of the team’s accomplishments and their efforts on the project. You can read more about the project on their poster.

Project Team:

Zack Anderson

Tayt Cooper

Justin Starr

Taylor Van Roosendaal

Jacob Worthington

Ergonomics and Safety Group – 2021

Despite the many challenges being faced around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, incredibly talented students continue to immerge and pursue graduate studies at the University of Utah in the Ergonomics and Safety Program. This is the first time since closures happened in March of 2020 that our group has been physically together at once. Sadly, we are still missing 4 of our valuable lab members from this picture because of various circumstances, so it’s not perfect, but it’s a start!

I’m so grateful for each of my students, their efforts, their support and of course, their patience with me as their faculty advisor.


ASSP Student Section – Recruitment Event

Members of the UU Student Section of the American Society of Safety Professionals actively engaged in the fall student recruitment event (Get Involved Fair) with other clubs and organizations on campus. Overall, the event was a success with the recruitment of new members to our organization. Congratulations for a job well done!