Human Factors/Ergonomics blends science and engineering in
the discovery and application of information about human
behavior, abilities, limitations, and other
characteristics and brings this knowledge to the design of
systems and their component tools, machines, tasks, jobs, and
environments, for productive, safe, comfortable use by
people. Activities of all types, work, leisure, sports,
and daily living, can be facilitated and made safer through
application of human factors/ergonomics principles.
Research conducted through OSU's Engineering Laboratory for
Human Factors/Ergonomics/Safety is focused on creating and
applying new knowledge to improve human performance and reduce
exposure to risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders and
injury, at work, school, and home.
Health, Safety & Technology
Upper Extremity Biomechanics
Industrial and Service Sector
care work - physical stressors, other hazards, and
Design of Hospital Patient
Improving patient room design for all users (NIOSH-sponsored
Lavender, S.A., Sommerich, C.M., Patterson, E.S., Sanders,
B.-N., Evans, K.D., Park, S., Umar, R.Z.R., Li, J., 2015.
Hospital patient room design: the issues facing 23
occupational groups who work in medical/surgical patient
rooms. Health Environment Research & Design Journal,
Designing musculoskeletal disorder interventions for imaging
technologists (NIOSH-sponsored project R01OH009253)
The goal of the study was to work with imaging technologists
to develop interventions to improve their working conditions
by reducing their occupational exposure to risk factors that
lead to development of musculoskeletal discomfort and
injury. This line of research has continued beyond the
duration of the sponsored project.
Lavender, SA, Evans, K, Sanders,
E., Joines, S., Lamar,
Umar, RZ Yen
W-T., Li, J, Nagavarapu, S, Dickerson, JA, (2016 [Epub
ahead of print]), Collaborating with cardiac
sonographers to develop work-related musculoskeletal
CM, Lavender, SA, Evans, K, Sanders,
E., Joines, S., Lamar,
Umar, RZ, Yen
W-T., Park, S (2016 [Epub ahead of
print].), Collaborating with mammographers
to address their work-related
Portable Seating for Echocardiographers, 2014.
Presented at the 17th Annual Applied Ergonomics
Sommerich, CM, Lavender, SA, Evans, K, Sanders, E.,
Joines, S., Radin Umar, RZ, Park, SH, Lamar, S. Yen
W-T., 2013, Participatory Ergonomics Applied to
Radiographers' Work, Presented at the 2013
Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Heath Care.
Sommerich, CM, Lavender, SA, Sanders, E., Joines, S.,
Evans, K, Lamar, S., Yen W-T., Radin Umar, RZ,
Ergonomics Applied to Sonographers’ Work, 55th Annual
Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society,
Radin Umar, RZ, Sommerich, CM, Evans, K, Lavender, SA,
Sanders, E., Yen W-T., Joines, S., Lamar, S.
2011. Ergonomic Interventional Design of an
Articulating Arm for Echocardiography Application:
Front-End Design and Pilot Study, 55th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and
Ergonomics Society, Las Vegas.
Sommerich CM, Lavender SA, Sanders EB-N, Lamar S, Evans K,
Joines SMB, Yen W-T. 2010. Participatory ergonomics applied
to mammographers’ work. Proceedings
of The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 54rd Annual
Meeting, San Francisco: The Human Factors and
2009-2017. Various groupings
of students and faculty from this lab, the Orthopaedic
Ergonomics Laboratory, the School of Health and
Rehabilitation Sciences, and the College of Nursing have
conducted research in this area. Some portions of this
research were supported, in part, by a grant from the Center
for Clinical & Translational Science at OSU. Some
student support was provided through our NIOSH Training
Grant (T01 OH008847). A grant to support the
development of occupational safety training for home health
care workers, using virtual simulation, was awarded in 2013
(R01 10425; PI-Dr. Barbara Polivka, U. of Louisville).
Wills, CE, Polivka,
BJ, Darragh, AR, Lavender, SA, Sommerich, CM, Stredney, D
(2016), "Making do" decisions: how home healthcare
personnel manage their exposure to home hazards, Western
Journal of Nursing Research, 38, 411-426.
Darragh, A.R., Lavender, S., Polivka, B., Sommerich, C.M.,
Wills, C.E., Hittle, B.A., Chen, R., Stredney, D.L., 2016.
Gaming Simulation as Health and Safety Training for Home
Healthcare Workers. Clinical Simulation in Nursing
Polivka, BJ, Wills, CE, Darragh, AR, Lavender, SA,
Sommerich, CM, Stredney, D (2015), Environmental health and
safety hazards experienced by home healthcare
providers: a room-by-room analysis, Workplace
Health & Safety, 63, 512-522; quiz 523.
Darragh, A. R., Sommerich, C. M., Lavender, S. A., Tanner,
K. J., Vogel, K., & Campo, M. (2013). Musculoskeletal
discomfort, physical demand and caregiving activities in
informal caregivers. Journal
of Applied Gerontology, epub ahead of print.
Czuba, L. R., Sommerich, C. M., & Lavender, S. A.
(2012). Ergonomic and Safety Risk Factors in Home Health
Care: Assessment and exploration of alternative
providers: task and ambulance cot design improvement
Through support from an Ohio BWC grant, we will
work with firefighters and paramedics to review
current methods for handling heavy patients,
identify best practices, and develop new methods
that will reduce the risk of overexertion-related
injury to paramedics and firefighters when
performing these physically stressful tasks.
Health, safety &
Students and faculty from this lab and the
Orthopaedic Ergonomics Laboratory have conducted
biomechanical analyses to determine effects of ambulance cot
designs on EMS workers, while loading and unloading cots
from a simulated ambulance. The research was supported, in
part, by industrial grants.
Sommerich, C. M.,
Lavender, S. A., Radin Umar, R. Z., Li, J., Park, S.,
& Dutt, M. (2015). A biomechanical and subjective
comparison of two powered ambulance cots, Ergonomics,
Sommerich, C. M., Lavender, S. A., Radin
Umar, R. Z., Park, S., Li, J., & Dutt, M. (2013).
Powered Ambulance Cots: Effects of design differences
on muscle activity and subjective perceptions of operators.
Paper presented at the 2013
International Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and
Ergonomics Society, San Diego.
Sommerich, C. M.,
Lavender, S. A., Radin Umar, R. Z., Le, P., Mehta, J., Ko,
P. L., Farfan, R., Dutt, M., Park, S. (2012) A biomechanical
and subjective assessment and comparison of three ambulance
cot design configurations. Ergonomics, 55(11), 1350-1361.
New applications for
digital human modeling
S.P., Sommerich, C.M., Luscher, A., 2016.
Digital Human Modeling of Obese & Aging
Workers in Automotive Manufacturing. 2016
International Meeting of the Human Factors and
Ergonomics Society. (Student support
provided through our NIOSH Training Grant, T03
C.M. (2013). A
Survey of AED
Campus of The
B.P. (2012). Investigation
of Automated External
Defibrillator (AED) and
Experience and Knowledge
at The Ohio State
Upper extremity biomechanics:
discomfort, work, and activities of daily living:
2014-2015. Manual work
Keester, D., Sommerich, C.M., 2017. Investigation
of musculoskeletal discomfort and work postures
among practicing tattoo artists. Applied
Ergonomics 58, 137-143. (Student
support provided through our NIOSH Training
Grant, T03 OH008847.)
examination of jar lid design
Yen, W. T.,
Sommerich, C. M., Lavender, S. A., Flinn, SR, &
Sanders, E. B. (accepted for publication). Evaluation
of jar lid design characteristics by older women with
hand use limitation, Applied Ergonomics.
Yen, W. T., Flinn, S. R., Sommerich, C. M.,
Lavender, S. A., & Sanders, E. B. (2013). Preference of
lid design characteristics by older adults with limited hand
function. Journal of Hand
Therapy, 26(3), 261-271.
Yen, W.-T., Sommerich, C. M., Lavender, S., Flinn, S. R.,
& Sanders, E. (2013). Product Physical Interface Design
Characteristics for Older Adults with Hand Use Limitations:
Laboratory Study. Paper presented at the 2013 International Annual
Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society,
San Diego. Awarded
the 2013 Arnold M. Small Memorial Award For Outstanding
Student Paper, by the Aging Technical Group of the Human
Factors and Ergonomics Society.
A new model to investigate carpal tunnel syndrome:
2008-2012. Macaque Model of Carpal Tunnel
Syndrome: Effects of force and posture exposures
(NIOSH-sponsored project R01OH009131)
Sommerich CM, Lavender
SA, Buford J, Banks J, Vatan Korkmaz S, Pease WS. 2007.
Towards development of a non-human primate model of carpal
tunnel syndrome: Performance of a voluntary,
repetitive pinching task induces median mononeuropathy in Macaca fascicularis. Journal of Orthopaedic
Research 25: 713-724. (NIOSH-sponsored
Banks J, Lavender SA, Buford J, Sommerich CM. 2007.
Measuring pad-pad pinch strength in a non-human
primate: Macaca fascicularis. Journal of Electromyography
and Kinesiology 17: 725-730.
Human-computer / Human-Information and
communications technology (ICT) Interaction:
smartphones and apps:
Two proposals were funded by the Ohio Board of Regents and
Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission:
- Accessible Mobile Web Browser: The
objective of the project is to enhance the feature set and
interface of a newly developed smartphone-based, open
source web browser that provides mobile access to the web
for students with print disabilities. (project
- Open Source Talking eBook Reader: The
objective of the project is to enhance and distribute an
already existing open source (free) e-book reader (Cool
Reader), to make it fully accessible to students with
print disabilities. (project
Research partners: Rajiv Ramnath, Director of CETI in
OSU's Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering, and Steve
school students' and teachers' use of tablet PCs:
President of IDEAL
Group, Inc. and CEO, Apps4Android.
Application of participatory ergonomics principles into an
educational environment: improving a high school information
technology program via interventions. (access
Sommerich C, Korkmaz
S. 2008. Survey response comparisons between student and
teacher participants in a mobile instructional technology
program in a high school setting. Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, New York
City: The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
Sommerich C, Korkmaz
S. 2007. Exposure to ubiquitous mobile instructional
technology in a high school setting: an observational
study. Proceedings of the
51st Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics
Society, Baltimore, MD: The Human Factors Society.
Sommerich CM, Ward R,
Sikdar K, Payne J, Herman L. 2007. A survey of high
school students with ubiquitous access to tablet PCs. Ergonomics 50:
Sommerich CM, Collura
K. 2007. Learning with Mobile Technology: A Human
Factors Perspective. In: Prey JC, Reed RH, Berque DA
editors. The Impact of
Tablet PCs and Pen-Based Technology on Education,
West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press. p 127-136.
and instructors' use of personal computers:
A joint effort with researchers from the University
of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in which we are studying tablet PC
use in a sample of college students and instructors.
Sommerich CM, Mirka GA. 2009. College students and
computers: assessment of usage patterns and
musculoskeletal discomfort. Work 32: 285-298.
of desktop and notebook computers:
for Work-Worker Systems: Final Progress Report
Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University.
(NIOSH-sponsored project K01OH000169)
Sommerich CM, Vatan S,
Asmus A. 2004. Computer input devices: quantification
of use and variation in use. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics
Society 48th Annual Meeting, New Orleans: Human
Factors and Ergonomics Society. p 1344-1348.
Sommerich CM. 2002. A
survey of desktop and notebook computer use by
of The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 46th Annual
Meeting, Baltimore, MD: Human Factors and
Ergonomics Society. p 1124-1128.
Industrial and service sector
Ergonomics for distribution centers:
The goals of the project were to 1) work with safety and
health professionals and distribution center order fillers
to identify top issues related to physical exertion in order
filling work and other material handling jobs in DCs, and
then to develop and/or identify interventions to reduce the
level of physical exertion and injury risk associated with
these jobs, and 2) initiate the Distribution Ergonomics
Research Center (DERC) at
OSU. This project was sponsored by the Material
Handling Industry of America (MHIA).
Lavender, S. A., Ko,
P. L., & Sommerich, C. M. (2013) Biomechanical
evaluation of the Eco-Pick lift assist: A device designed to
facilitate product selection tasks in distribution centers.
of torque tool operation:
Beginning as a joint effort with researchers from OSU's
Department of Mechanical Engineering, this line of research
has investigated new models and methods for assessing and
describing biomechanical responses of torque tool operators,
with special attention to DC torque tools and controller
algorithms. (Portions of this research were sponsored
by Honda of America Manufacturing and the Honda-OSU
Partnership). The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation
funded a new research project (2015-2017) to extend this
line of work to support the development of a tool rig to
dynamically assess torque tools.
H., Sommerich, C. M., & Luscher, A. (2013). Linear
Modeling of Human Hand-Arm Dynamics Relevant to Right-Angle
Torque Tool Interaction. Human
Factors, 55(5), 893-910.
Ay, H., Luscher, A., Sommerich, C., & Berme, N. (2013).
Nonlinear model-based estimation of hand-arm reaction force
in powered torque tool use. Paper presented at the 37th Annual Meeting of the
American Society of Biomechanics, Omaha, Nebraska.
Ay, H. (2011). Linear and Nonlinear Models of Human Hand-Arm
Dynamics and Torque Tool Interaction. The Ohio State
Ay H, Sommerich CM, Luscher AF, Gumpina R. 2010. Assessment
of Arm Dynamics in Experienced Workers While Operating
Right-Angle Torque Tools, Proceedings
of the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Society of
Biomechanics, Providence RI.
Ay H, Luscher AF, Sommerich CM, Gumpina R.
Modeling and Physical Capacity Assessment of Human Arm
Response in Experienced Torque Tool Operators, Proceedings of the 2010 Annual Meeting of the
American Society of Biomechanics, Providence RI.
Sommerich CM, Gumpina
R, Roll SC, Le P, Chandler DF. 2009. Investigating effects
of controller algorithm on torque tool operators. Proceedings of the 2009
Industrial Engineering Research Conference, Miami:
Institute for Industrial Engineering.
Johnson M, Vandlen K,
Hutter E, Gahlot R, Yen W-T, Kommini S, Sommerich CM. 2008.
Comparing the effects of two controller algorithms on DC
torque tool operators. Proceedings
of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and
Ergonomics Society, New York City: The Human
Factors and Ergonomics Society.
Biomechanical assessment of cake decorating:
Sommerich CM, Lavender SA, Asmus A, Chany A-M, Parakkat J,
Yang G. 2005. Bakery: Cake decorating process. In:
Marras W, Karwowski W editors. The Occupational Ergonomics Handbook,
Interventions, Controls and Applications in Occupational
Ergonomics, Boca Raton: CRC Taylor & Francis. p
director of the lab is Dr.
Graduate students gain
experience in conducting research through projects conducted
through sponsored research, course work, and their own
independent research. Undergraduate students also gain
research experience in the lab and provide valuable support to
Current graduate students:
Tang, MS (2016)
Hasmin Hakim Hasbullah, MS (2016)
Radin Zaid Radin Umar, PhD (2015)
Parthasarathy*, MS (2015)
Park, PhD (2015)
Dana Keester*, MS (2015)
Christina Lee*, MS (2014)
Sarah Koop*, MS (2014)
Bryan Hennessey*, MS (2012)
Nick Boyd*, MS (2012)
Emma Alder*, MS (2012)
Wei-Ting Yen, PhD
Tony Farfan*, MS
Laura Czuba*, MS
Olivia Hernandez*, MS (2009)
Gumpina, MS (2009)
Dawn Chandler*, MS
Sahika Vatan Korkmaz, PhD (2008)
Di Liu, PhD (2008)
Shritama Mukherji, MS (2008)
Sarah Nelson, MS (2007)
Amy Asmus, MS (2005)
Jake Banks, MS (2004)
*These students are/were
supported through NIOSH Training Grants T01OH008847 or
more about this graduate program for individuals
interested in earning a master's degree through an
engineering-based program in occupational safety and
The Engineering Laboratory for Human Factors/Ergonomics/Safety
is co-located with the Orthopaedic Ergonomics Laboratory in Rm
281B in Baker Systems Engineering Building on OSU's Columbus
campus, at 1971 Neil Ave. The phone number is
The Engineering Laboratory for Human
Factors/Ergonomics/Safety is affiliated with the following
laboratories and centers at OSU:
Spine Research Institute
Center for Occupational Health in Automotive
Cognitive Systems Engineering
Ergonomics Research Center (DERC)
and Ergonomics Society
American Society of
The Ergonomics Society
American Industrial Hygiene
American Society of Safety
ISE Department home page
ISE Graduate Program