Case Studies: Assessments

Click on one of the case studies below:

Evaluate New Conspicuity Panel for Snowplows

Truck with Conspicuity PanelHFN was retained by HDR Corporation, on behalf of MTO, to evaluate the visibility of a new conspicuity panel for snowplows. Tests were carried out to select an optimum conspicuity panel colour/reflectivity and lighting combination based on 1) day/night conspicuity ratings and 2) day/night ease of perception of closing velocity in visually cluttered urban vs. rural backgrounds. Recommendations were made for the best conspicuity panel alternative, and have been accepted by the Transportation Association of Canada for application Canada-wide.

Motor Vehicle Accident Database Analysis

Truck driving on an icy roadHFN was contracted by Hydro One Networks Inc. to analyze their accident database to determine crash rates and to compare them to those of the general public, to identify crash patterns and to recommend appropriate countermeasures.

Roundabout Benefits Assessment

Traffic roundaboutHFN was retained by Transport Canada to address the various impacts of roundabouts through a literature review and brief telephone interviews with transportation personnel in Canadian and U.S. jurisdictions. Knowledge gaps were identified and policy recommendations were made.

Value Engineering Study on Animal Collisions 

Moose crossing the highwayHFN was retained by HDR / iTRANS for the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) to provide human factors input to a study of countermeasures to reduce animal collisions on Ontario highways. Human factors issues included driver limitations with respect to visibility with low beam headlights and driver expectancy.

Fatigue Management and Truck Drivers 

Driver asleep at the wheelHFN was contracted by the Transportation Development Centre (TDC) to manage a field study in Quebec, Alberta and California of a comprehensive Fatigue Management Program involving 1) educational sessions at all levels of the trucking company, 2) sleep disorder diagnosis and treatment, and 3) interaction with dispatchers and management to improve dispatch practice with regard to fatigue. The goal was to assess the feasibility of a company-wide approach to fatigue management and its impact on drivers’ fatigue, performance, sleep duration and mood, as well as on company performance measures, scheduling policies and practices.

Driver Sanction and Remediation Programs

Elderly driver at the wheelThe Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) contracted HFN to carry out an evaluation of its demerit point system and its senior driver renewal program, to assess their effectiveness from both a safety and operational perspective. The evaluation involved a literature review, surveys of practices in other jurisdictions, and statistical analysis of Ontario driver records to determine the effectiveness of various demerit point models in identifying high risk drivers.

Bus Operator Workload During Stop Announcements

Bus driver at the wheelGrand River Transit contracted HFN to carry out a two-part study to determine the effects on safety and musculoskeletal injury risk of having bus operators make stop announcements. Part 1 involved an on-road study with in-service buses to assess the level of distraction caused by carrying out manual stop announcements. Part 2 involved assessing the physical requirements related to using the new and existing microphone systems, determining ideal placement of the stop sheet, and assessing vocal strain associated with manually calling out stops using an amplified system.

Shift Schedules in the Nuclear Industry

Nuclear facility employee at control panelHuman factors and performance issues are important safety considerations relevant to any complex system, including the nuclear industry. HFN was contracted by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to review their existing hours of work and fatigue management criteria, and to recommend improvements based on scientific evidence and benchmarking.

MSD Risk For Office & Computer Workstations

Office worker at desk with neck painHFN has been retained by numerous government, legal, educational, financial and private sector institutions to assess musculoskeletal injury risk for individual employees, to accommodate employees with disabilities and/or to assist in the return-to-work process for people with physical restrictions. With a focus on practical solutions, HFN consultants help those working at office and computer workstations to be comfortable, safe, productive and efficient.

MSD Mitigation in the Grocery Industry

Employee at cash registerHFN was retained by the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors to establish ergonomics best practice for the Ontario grocery industry with respect to musculoskeletal injury reduction and prevention. Positions in warehouse and distribution centers such as Truck Driver and Material Selector were an area of focus in addition to Cashier, Butcher, Grocery Clerk and Shelf Stocker in retail stores.

MSD Risk For In-Vehicle Delivery To Rural Mail Boxes

Mailboxes on country roadHFN conducted two large scale projects for Nexient Learning on behalf of Canada Post Corporation to assess and control musculoskeletal injury risk during in-vehicle mail delivery to rural mail boxes in Ontario and Quebec. Activities included: a nationwide survey for mail carriers to report any physical discomfort related to their job duties, field observations of current delivery methods and a comprehensive study of the impact of right hand drive vehicles.

MSD Risk in a University Athletics Department

University athletic facilityHFN was retained by the University of Toronto to conduct an ergonomic review of its Athletics Facility Assistant position to identify and control MSD-related hazards for healthy and aging workers.  The project included an assessment of job activities for various Athletics’ departments, including: equipment desk, towel counter, laundry room and facilities. Applying a participatory approach, a collaborative focus group was carried out following on-site data collection to discuss and address key findings and formulate solutions.

MSD Risk in the Greenhouse Industry

worker in a vegetable greenhouseHFN was contracted by The Ontario Greenhouse Alliance (TOGA) to lead a 5-month comprehensive study of musculoskeletal injury risk in floral and vegetable greenhouses in Ontario. The project involved conducting a gap analysis including the identification and assessment of ergonomics-related risk factors and developing future needs for the industry to reduce and prevent MSDs.

Physical Requirements and Meal Delivery in Hospitals 

Man pulling a meal delivery cartHFN was retained by Burlodge Canada Inc. to assess the push/pull forces required to manoeuvre their product line of meal delivery systems in a hospital setting. The project confirmed that the physical requirements for all units are within acceptable limits according to ISO requirements. This proactive step on Burlodge’s part helps to ensure that staff working with their product does so in a safe manner.