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Caster Connection Collaboration With The Ohio State University Spine Research Institute In 2021 Update

(9/9/2021) As we begin to age, our mortality becomes more and more evident. All of the wear and tear that our bodies go through on the job can detract from our happiness and quality of life. No one wants to experience highly debilitating injuries or this gradual wear and tear, and no company wants to cause this physical breakdown to their valuable and loyal employees.

For this reason, Caster Connection has undertaken another study with The Ohio State University and the CDMI to lessen the impact of push/pull forces while turning. At the same time, we’ve been able to contribute to a symposium addressing shoulder injury causes and solutions, as shoulder injuries from poor ergonomics designs are on the rise. Here are some updates on these two initiatives.


This study is very similar to our study performed in 2019. We are trying to determine what types of push/pull forces best equate to those experienced by employees who are pushing or pulling carts in any number of settings.

To this point, we have experienced some difficulty properly assessing/measuring push/pull while turning. The primary obstacle is the manner in which force is applied to a cart as it is being pushed. Normally, an employee will push and pull at the same time with each hand while turning a cart. This makes measurement with a handheld gauge difficult since only one application of force, either pushing or pulling, is measured at one time.

Solutions to this have ranged from basic measurement attachments to complex, custom-built frames connected to the cart handles. The CDMI has also experimented with two people turning the cart at once. This first initial phase has taken some time to sort out, but we are moving into the second phase, measurement.

In the second phase, Ohio State researchers will begin measuring push/pull forces from 8 subjects using 3 different measurement strategies. We will then analyze the data to make recommendations to our clients and the general public so that they can measure push/pull force while turning, in order to best approximate “naturally” exerted force.

In this way, your employees will be protected and you’ll be able to most accurately measure push/pull forces so that you can make more informed decisions to improve ergonomics within your facility.

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The second part of our involvement with the CDMI has been an on-going initiative to understand shoulder injuries, which are becoming more and more prevalent. During the course of our involvement, the CDMI held a shoulder symposium in February, 2021, with almost 130 participants. This meeting shed light on many issues that companies have been experiencing and provided solutions and areas of further investigation.

Shoulder injuries have become the leading type of injury in quite a few organizations, even more than back injuries. This highlights the danger to employees and need for us to minimize risk. Further investigation and recommendations will be available upon publication of the CDMI’s research and shoulder modeling.

However, two main areas of importance for our industry that emerge from the shoulder inquiry are 1) proper push/pull measurements upon the shoulders and 2) cart design. Both of these points of emphasis are areas that companies can improve upon with tangible results.

Hand Transducer Force Plate

In the coming months, we will shed more light upon these two initiatives.

Our current study with the OSU SRI is being conducted in the Center for Disruptive Musculoskeletal Innovations (CDMI) and with the support of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

If you’d like to stay up-to-date or receive free consultation on your current ergonomic initiatives, please click the button bellow, and our ergonomic caster specialists will contact you immediately.