The mental workload of harvester operators working in steep terrain conditions

Grzegorz Szewczyk , Raffaele Spinelli  , Natascia Magagnotti , Paweł Tylek , Janusz M. Sowa , Piotr Rudy , Dominika Gaj-Gielarowiec

Abstract

The use of modern multi-functional forestry machines has already been associated with central nervous system fatigue induced by high mental workload. As these machines are being used under increasingly difficult terrain conditions, further knowledge is required on the expected aggravation of operators’ mental workload, so that suitable work/rest schedules can be developed. Within such a context, the aim of this study was to gauge aggravations of mental workload derived from increasing slope gradient. Measurements of eye activity were obtained from a representative harvester operator working in corridors with the following mean inclinations: 9%, 23% and 47%. The duration, frequency and trajectory of eye movements were used to determine the harvester operator’s mental workload, on the assumption that worsening work conditions would be reflected by increased eyeball activity. The number of fixations during the performance of all tasks increased with the increasing slope gradient. Similarly, fixation duration increased with slope gradient. The mean duration of saccades when working on a 23% slope was 5% shorter compared to work under a 9% gradient. A further significant shortening of saccade duration (~22%) occurred when working on a 47% slope. The good match between eye activity cycles and work cycles, visible especially on steep slopes, indicates that mental workload is related to work conditions. Overall, operating a forest harvester on steep slopes results in a greatly increased mental workload and calls for suitable rest schedules.
Author Grzegorz Szewczyk (FoF / Department of Forest Utilization, Engineering and Forest Technology)
Grzegorz Szewczyk,,
- Department of Forest Utilization, Engineering and Forest Technology
, Raffaele Spinelli  - National Research Council of Italy
Raffaele Spinelli ,,
-
, Natascia Magagnotti - National Research Council of Italy
Natascia Magagnotti,,
-
, Paweł Tylek (FoF / Department of Forest Utilization, Engineering and Forest Technology)
Paweł Tylek,,
- Department of Forest Utilization, Engineering and Forest Technology
, Janusz M. Sowa (FoF / Department of Forest Utilization, Engineering and Forest Technology)
Janusz M. Sowa,,
- Department of Forest Utilization, Engineering and Forest Technology
, Piotr Rudy -  State Forests, Biłgoraj Forest District
Piotr Rudy,,
-
, Dominika Gaj-Gielarowiec - State Forests, Barycz Forest District
Dominika Gaj-Gielarowiec,,
-
Journal seriesSilva Fennica, ISSN 0037-5330, e-ISSN 2242-4075, (N/A 70 pkt)
Issue year2020
Vol54
No3
Pages1-18
Publication size in sheets0.85
Article number10355
Keywords in English ergonomics; eye tracking; fatigue; gaze behaviour; logging
ASJC Classification1107 Forestry; 2302 Ecological Modelling
DOIDOI:10.14214/sf.10355
URL https://silvafennica.fi/issue/issue/3226
Languageen angielski
LicenseJournal (articles only); author's original; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); after publication
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The mental workload of harvester operators working in steep terrain conditions of 06-07-2020
9,31 MB
Score (nominal)70
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 1.013; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 1.605 (2) - 2018=1.904 (5)
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FinansowanieThe research was financed under grant number no. OR.271.3.06.2016. “Cybernetic rules for conducting thinnings in pine stands introduced to post-disaster areas” and grant no. 720757 “Tech4Effect”, released from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme.
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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