A biomechanical model is presented, and combined with measurements of tip press force, to estimate total user hand force associated with two pneumatic nail gun trigger systems. The contact actuation trigger (CAT) can fire a nail when the user holds the trigger depressed first and then "bumps" the nail gun tip against the workpiece. With a full sequential actuation trigger (SAT) the user must press the tip against the workpiece prior to activating the trigger. The SAT is demonstrably safer in reducing traumatic injury risk, but increases the duration (and magnitude) of tip force exertion. Time integrated (cumulative) hand force was calculated for a single user from measurements of the tip contact force with the workpiece and transfer time between nails as inputs to a static model of the nail gun and workpiece in two nailing task orientations. The model shows the hand force dependence upon the orientation of the workpiece in addition to the trigger system. Based on standard time allowances from work measurement systems (i.e. Methods-Time Measurement - 1) it is proposed that efficient application of hand force with the SAT in maintaining tip contact can reduce force exertion attributable to the sequential actuation trigger to 2-8% (horizontal nailing) and 9-20% (vertical nailing) of the total hand/arm force. The present model is useful for considering differences in cumulative hand/arm force exposure between the SAT and CAT systems and may explain the appeal of the CAT trigger in reducing the user's perception of muscular effort.
Keywords: ergonomics; fatigue; nail gun.