Ergonauts Upright Broom Evaluation

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Company: Delta Industries

 

Name of product: Smart Handle Pro™ Upright Broom Upright_Broom.GIF (71795 bytes)

 

Product evaluation number: #023

 

Date of evaluation: December 14, 2002

 

Product materials (according to manufacturer):

Aluminum shaft with wall thickness .045 inches, handle ribbed vinyl, foam grip, and angled broom head with plastic casing and fine bristles.

 

Type of product: Broom

 

Description of product:

Product is designed to function as a broom while providing 2 secure grips that place the hands in neutral position, which results in increased applied force. The handle length is designed to keep the user in the upright position with the hands in the "thumbs up" position.

 

Instrumentation used in evaluation:

Starrett Model 120A 0-6" Dial Calipers, Cal Date 01/10/02

Chatillon CSD 100 S/N D 35542 Dynamometer, Cal Date 03/15/02

Standard metal tape measure, English units

 

Measurements:

Handle:

Diameter 1.193 inches

Length 4.245 inches

Foam Grip (Secondary Handle):

Diameter 1.165 inches

Length 4.81 inches

Length between handles, center of grip to center of grip: Spread 18 inches

 

Shaft: Length 41 inches

 

Sweep Length: Length 24 inches in neutral posture

 

Handle height: 55 inches

 

Secondary handle height: 38 inches

 

Weight: 2 pounds

 

Findings:

All measurements fall within the anatomical range and strength capabilities of the anthropometric data for the U.S. Industrial Population from the 5th percentile female to the 95th percentile male. In addition, the positioning of the hands through use of the handle and foam grip places the hands shoulder width apart.

 

Assessment:

The aluminum handle is a lighter weight material than wood or plastic, and the rigidity of the metal provides for a more efficient transfer of force to the desired target. Due to the extended handle length, the user is able to maintain an upright posture, which is inherently more stable than a stooped or bent posture. Remaining upright, rather than bending, decreases the stress to the spine, both in the lumbar area and in the neck area by preventing the neck extension required to see the task while in a bent posture. This allows the user better concentration and visual acuity. By keeping the user’s hand in neutral position, the extrinsic muscles of the hand are used more than the intrinsic muscles of the hand, which decreases the stress on the carpal tunnel. Keeping the hand and wrist in the neutral position also decreases the stress on other components of the wrist such as the carpometacarpal joints, the trifibrocartilage complex and the first compartment complex (involved in DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis.) Also, with the hands and wrists in neutral position, both ulnar and radial deviation (side to side deviation at the wrist) is eliminated, which eliminates arthritis pain and decreases torque forces on the wrist. Also, the stress of the work is applied to the bones of the forearm in a ratio of 80% force to the radius and 20% force to the ulna with the hands in the "thumbs up" position, which is exactly how the body is designed to work. The straight handle of an ordinary broom applies the force of the work in the opposite ratio, 20% to the radius and 80% to the ulna, which is not how the body is designed to work. By keeping the work close to the center of gravity, the reach envelope is diminished, which decreases the strain on the shoulders and lower back. Even with an upright posture, with the hands and arms in neutral position and with the force applied located close to the user’s center of gravity; the sweep length of the implement is such that it is more

efficient (more ground area covered per sweep). The positioning of the user is almost automatic, certainly intuitively obvious; and allows the larger muscles of the chest and arms (pectoralis major and minor, biceps and triceps) to do the work. This decreases strain on the shoulders and wrists. Due to the positioning of the user, work over a given area is accomplished by use of the legs to traverse the distance, rather than bending the back to increase the sweep length. The device thus has the effect of retraining the user to maintain good work habits and postures.

 

Does product have Ergonaut approval?

Ergonauts.jpg (15540 bytes)

Evaluators:

Michael C. Gladden, EdD, CPE, CEM

Steve Davis, CEM

 

Expiration:

This evaluation entitles Delta Industries International, Inc. to use the Ergonauts Official Seal of Approval™. This privilege expires on 12/31/05.