Optimum pinch grips in the handling of dies

Carol Heffernan, Andris Freivalds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Handling roller-press dies has caused numerous work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the leather industry. The dies are quite large (0.61x0.30m), heavy (3.5kg) and are difficult to handle because of the large pinch span requirements (up to 16cm). The purpose of this study was to determine the optimum pinch span and optimum crossbar angulation to minimize die handling forces. Five-finger pulp-pinch forces were measured on five males and five females with a force-sensitive-resistor instrumented glove while handling a simulated adjustable die. Maximum pinch forces occurred at pinch spans between 1.27 and 3.81cm, with average female strengths being 57% of average male pinch strengths. Minimum pinch forces to hold the die occurred at a 45°angulation and increased linearly as the angle approached 90° or the normal vertical orientation. The simplest solution to redesigning the dies is to: (1) decrease the distance between the braces to less than 4cm and (2) slant the braces at 45°. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-414
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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