David Rempel

David Rempel
University of California, San Francisco | UCSF · Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

MD, MPH

About

311
Publications
126,860
Reads
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11,486
Citations
Citations since 2016
62 Research Items
4494 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600700
Additional affiliations
August 1990 - present
University of California, Berkeley
Position
  • Professor (Full)
July 1990 - present
University of California, San Francisco
Position
  • UC San Francisco, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
July 1990 - present
University of California, San Francisco
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Education
August 1980 - May 1981
University of California, Berkeley
Field of study
  • Public Health and Epidemiology
July 1977 - April 1982
University of California San Francoso
Field of study
  • Medicine
September 1974 - June 1977
University of California, San Diego
Field of study
  • Biomedical Engineering

Publications

Publications (311)
Article
Observer, manual single-frame video, and automated computer vision measures of the Hand Activity Level (HAL) were compared. HAL can be measured three ways: 1) observer rating (HALO), 2) calculated from single-frame multimedia video task analysis for measuring frequency (F) and duty cycle (D) (HALF), or 3) from automated computer vision (HALC). This...
Article
Objective: To estimate associations between biomechanical exposures and workplace neck and shoulder musculoskeletal disorders (NSMSDs) in a prospective cohort. Methods: Manufacturing workers (N = 349) were followed for 28 months. Biomechanical exposures were collected on each individual and physical exams were performed every 4 months. Prevalent...
Article
Background Although recent studies have identified important risk factors associated with incident carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), risk factors associated with its severity have not been well explored. Objective To examine the associations between personal, workplace psychosocial and biomechanical factors and incident work disability among workers w...
Article
Full-text available
Background International consensus is needed on case definitions of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and diseases (MSDs) for use in epidemiological research. We aim to: 1) study what information is needed for the case definition of work-related low back pain (LBP), lumbosacral radicular syndrome (LRS), subacromial pain syndrome (SAPS), carpal...
Article
Full-text available
position of the wrist for lowest carpal tunnel pressure; implications for splint design
Article
The recently revised ACGIH TLV for Hand Activity (TLV2018) is a widely used tool for assessing risk for upper limb musculoskeletal disorders. The purpose of this analysis was to compare the strength of the exposure-response relationships between the TLV2018 and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) between men and women and across age strata. Heterogeneity...
Article
Computer mouse design can impact user comfort and performance. The effect of mouse design on gamers, who use a mouse for long hours and apply higher velocity movements than office workers, is uncertain. Professional (N = 29) and high-level (N = 19) gamers participated in this laboratory study and performed Fitts’ and gaming tasks (OverwatchTM) with...
Article
Full-text available
Virtual and augmented reality (VR, AR) systems present 3D images that users can interact with using controllers or gestures. The design of the user input process is crucial and determines the interactive efficiency, comfort, and adoption. Gesture-based input provides a device-free interaction that may improve safety and creativity compared to using...
Article
Full-text available
Background The aim of this study was to identify case definitions of diagnostic criteria for specific musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) for use in occupational healthcare, surveillance or research. Methods A scoping review was performed in Medline and Web of Science from 2000 to 2020 by an international team of researchers and clinicians, using the...
Article
Researchers have designed 3D (non-contacting) gestures for human-computer interaction (HCI) for desktop computers, automobiles, and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) to improve functionality, and experience. 3D gestures provide a method for HCI in clean and dirty environments and settings where both hands need to be free for other tasks such as...
Article
HFES oversees or touches on a variety of ergonomics and human factors standards activities including standards developed within HFES (e.g. HFES 100) and standards work outside of HFES such as ANSI, ISO and ACGIH. This session is intended to update HFES members on the standards work that HFES is involved. This year the emphasis will be on specific n...
Article
Background and aims: Endoscopists experience upper extremity musculoskeletal injuries. The primary aim of this study was to compare distal upper extremity biomechanical risk factors during colonoscopy to established risk thresholds. Secondary aims were to determine which subtasks during colonoscopy are associated with the greatest risk and to eval...
Article
Approximately 1.6 million commercial construction workers in the US use rotary hammer drills for drilling into concrete to insert anchor bolts or rebar. The exposure to vibration may lead to hand-arm vibration syndrome and other musculoskeletal disorders depending on handle vibration acceleration level, hand grip force, and duration of exposure. Th...
Article
HFES oversees a variety of ergonomics and human factors standards activities including standards developed within HFES (e.g. HFES 100) and standards work outside of HFES such as ANSI and ISO. This session is intended to update HFES members on the standards work that HFES is involved. This year the emphasis will be on specific new standards work on...
Article
As with all scientific disciplines involving research (laboratory or field), the design of an experiment, and the statistical methods used, are critical factors in research rigor, thus in our ability to compare, evaluate and communicate research findings. Courses in experimental design and statistics are required for the pursuit of advanced trainin...
Article
Historically, work-related upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) have comprised a significant portion of the number and cost of injuries in the workplace. The problem of work-related upper-extremity MSD has been, and continues to be, widespread and costly. This panel will present recent research from the Upper Extremity Musculoskeletal Co...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have shown the 2001 American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH®) Threshold Limit Value (TLV®) for Hand Activity was not sufficiently protective for workers at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). These studies led to a revision of the TLV and Action Limit. This study compares the effect of applying the 2018 TLV...
Article
OCCUPATIONAL APPLICATIONS In this study, we explored the effects of peak torque amplitude (PTA) provided from a passive shoulder-support exoskeleton (shoulderX) on muscle activation, preference, and perceived exertion. Use of the exoskeleton during both sustained and repetitive overhead tasks reduced bilateral shoulder flexor muscle activity with i...
Article
Drilling large holes (e.g., 10–20 mm diameter) into concrete for structural upgrades to buildings, highways, bridges, and airport runways can produce concentrations of respirable silica dust well above the ACGIH® Threshold Limit Value (TLV® = 0.025 mg/m³). The aim of this study was to evaluate a new method of local exhaust ventilation, hollow bit d...
Article
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a potentially disabling occupational illness with high incidence rates in certain occupations. Prospective workplace studies have identified associations between personal, psychosocial and biomechanical factors and incident CTS. However, biased estimates of association due to the healthy worker survivor effect (HWSE)...
Article
Providing input for the selection of objects in virtual, augmented, and mixed-mode reality can be done with hand-held controllers or hand gestures depending on the complexity and precision required. Free hand gestures have the advantages of eliminating the need for a controller, not needing to see the controls on the controller, and potentially bei...
Chapter
Full-text available
Hand Activity Level (HAL) can be estimated from observations (HALO), calculated from exertion frequency, F and duty cycle D (HALF) or from speed, S and D (HALS). Data collected by prospective cohort studies were used to compare these methods. There was 75% agreement between HALO and HALS (HALS = 1.02 × HALO −0.2, R² = 0.78, F(1,1003) = 43665, p < ....
Article
Objectives Both pneumatic rock drills and electric rotary hammer drills are used for drilling large holes (e.g., 10–20 mm diameter) into concrete for structural upgrades to buildings, highways, bridges, and airport tarmacs. However, little is known about the differences in productivity, and exposures to noise, handle vibration, and dust between the...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Proceedings of the 2018 Ergo-X Symposium: Exoskeletons in the Workplace — Assessing Safety, Usability, and Productivity
Article
Background Various quantification methods have been used to measure exposure to risk factors for musculoskeletal injuries, including observation, video-based frame-by-frame analysis, and direct measurements. Each technique has advantages and disadvantages. The American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (2017) Threshold Limit Value® (TL...
Article
Introduction: Overhead tasks increase the risk of work related musculoskeletal disorders to industrial workers. A shoulder supporting exoskeleton with adjustable and angle dependent torque (referred to as shoulderX in this paper for brevity) was designed and built at the University of California Berkeley Human Engineering and Robotics Laboratory fo...
Article
At the 2016 HFES Presidential Address, Bill Marras made a plea for the membership to begin thinking about demonstrating the value of HFE in terms that are persuasive to business leaders. Presentations at the 2017 HFES Annual Conference responded to that plea with discussions of case studies and business metrics linked to HFE interventions. To furth...
Article
Full-text available
We thank Drs. Colombini and Occhipinti for their personal reply to our Discussion Paper (1, 2). We share the overall goal of preventing workplace injuries and welcome a discussion of the ISO process on workplace ergonomics standards; this was the primary aim of the Discussion Paper. We hope that other members of the relevant ISO working groups will...
Conference Paper
Introduction Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are the most common work-related health issue among construction workers. Despite the existence of practical solutions for reducing physical exposures, prevention efforts to reduce MSDs have not been systematically adopted by most construction employers. This study will describe a social marketing campai...
Conference Paper
Introduction The use of hammer drills for concrete drilling exposes construction workers to high levels of hand vibration that may lead to hand arm vibration syndrome and other musculoskeletal disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of concrete bit wear on drill handle vibration, productivity, and change in bit shape. Metho...
Conference Paper
In the US, the acceptance of a claim for a work-related MSD is most commonly determined by the employer and insurance carrier with input from the physician’s report. For most workers, the process is based on state laws, which vary from state to state. Some states (e.g., California) have adopted the ACOEM Medical Practice Guidelines (2nd Ed, 1). The...
Conference Paper
Starting in 2000, six research groups from the USA were supported by NIOSH to perform large, prospective epidemiologic studies examining associations between workplace physical risk factors and upper limb musculoskeletal disorders. A total of 4321 workers at 55 employers/plants across a variety of hand-intensive industries were followed for up to s...
Article
Full-text available
Background There is growing use of a job exposure matrix (JEM) to provide exposure estimates in studies of work-related musculoskeletal disorders; few studies have examined the validity of such estimates, nor did compare associations obtained with a JEM with those obtained using other exposures. Objective This study estimated upper extremity expos...
Article
Full-text available
Among other purposes, companies and regulatory agencies from around the world often adopt International Standard Organization (ISO) standards to determine acceptable practices, equipment and criteria for preventing occupational injuries and illnesses. ISO standards are based on a consensus among individuals who participate in the process. This disc...
Article
Objectives: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are highly prevalent and put a large burden on (working) society. Primary prevention of work-related MSD focuses often on physical risk factors (such as manual lifting and awkward postures) but has not been too successful in reducing the MSD burden. This may partly be caused by insufficient k...
Article
Full-text available
The use of large electric hammer and pneumatic drills exposes construction workers to high levels of hand vibration that may lead to hand arm vibration syndrome and other musculoskeletal disorders. This hammer drill test bench study demonstrated a small but significant increase in z-axis handle vibration (4.8 to 5.1 m/s2; ISO weighted) and drilling...
Article
Full-text available
More than ever, human factors engineers and ergonomists need to justify our practice’s value to management. How can we effectively communicate with management? How should we present a Return on Investment (ROI) that leadership will find useful that addresses company profits, cost savings, productivity, first time quality, and turnover? What else do...
Article
Full-text available
Overexertion injuries related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, or carrying objects are a leading cause of occupational injury in the construction industry. Although significant research exists on interventions and practices that could reduce the risk for these injuries, adoption by construction employers has been slow. Ergonomics researchers...
Article
Routine office or computer work are of public health concerns due to their sedentary nature. Sit- stand desks may be prescribed for employees based on medical or ergonomic factors. Sit-stand or active workstations, either assigned to individual workers or made available in “unassigned” office areas are also making inroads into the workplace with th...
Article
Two computer vision algorithms were developed to automatically estimate exertion time, duty cycle (DC), and hand activity level (HAL) from videos of workers performing 50 industrial tasks. The average DC difference between manual frame-by-frame analysis and the computer vision DC was -5.8% for the Decision Tree (DT) algorithm, and 1.4% for the Feat...
Article
Objectives: Hammer drills are used extensively in commercial construction for drilling into concrete for tasks including rebar installation for structural upgrades and anchor bolt installation. This drilling task can expose workers to respirable silica dust and noise. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the effects of bit wear on respirabl...
Article
Introduction: The use of large electric hammer drills exposes construction workers to high levels of hand vibration that may lead to hand arm vibration syndrome and other musculoskeletal disorders. The aim of this laboratory study was to investigate the effect of bit wear on drill handle vibration and drilling productivity (e.g., drilling time per...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Virtual reality requires high levels of interaction with the user, a type of human computer interaction. Interactions that match the way humans usually interact with their surroundings should improve training effectiveness. A 3D hand gesture based interface allows users to control the position and orientation of 3D objects by simply moving their ha...
Conference Paper
This study evaluated the effect of different hand-position-to-velocity mapping functions on user performance and preference for freehand gesture navigation in a virtual environment. Three parameters of the velocity mapping function were evaluated: hand position to velocity slope, linearity and size of the zero-velocity area around the resting hand...
Article
Drilling into concrete with carbide-tipped bits using a hammer drill is a physically demanding task performed in commercial construction for setting anchors and rebar. Bit wear will not only decrease productivity (rate of penetration) but can also increase drill handle vibration, noise and dust exposure to workers. The purpose of this study was to...
Article
Aim Cake decorating involves several hand intensive steps with high grip force during the application of icing. The purpose of this laboratory study was to evaluate forearm muscle activity, discomfort, productivity, and usability of an alternative tool for cake decorating compared to decorating with the traditional piping bag. Methods Participants...
Article
In this paper we propose a set of fast-computable depth features for static hand posture classification from a single depth image. The proposed features, which are extracted from pixels on randomly positioned line segments, are specially designed as low-level cues to be used in random forest classifier which combines the cues to discover high-level...
Article
Full-text available
INTRODUCTION: The 15-minute work break provides an opportunity to promote health, yet few studies have examined this part of the workday. We studied physical activity and sedentary behavior among office workers and compared the results of the Booster Break program with those of a second intervention and a control group to determine whether the Boos...
Article
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a costly disease for employers and a source of long-term disability to workers. Force, repetition, and deviated posture are commonly believed risk factors for CTS. The aim of this study was to quantify associations between workplace biomechanical factors and incidence of dominant-hand CTS after adjusting for personal...
Article
Introduction Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), the most common peripheral entrapment neuropathy, results from compression of the median nerve at the wrist that leads to more disability than most other upper extremity disorders (Foley 2007). Method 4321 workers were followed up to 7 years with repeated symptom surveys and nerve conduction studies to id...
Article
Background Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is an important occupational health problem because its frequency and severity lead to more disability than most other upper extremity disorders and is an important driver of overall workers compensation costs (US Bureau of Labour & Statistics 2010; Foley 2007). Identifying individuals at risk for increased s...
Conference Paper
This is the first of two panels to discuss pathways and barriers in moving promising ergonomic concepts from research to practice and in moving important ergonomic problems from practice to research. The panelists are from a variety of industry sectors and academia. The session will start with a 5-minute introductory statement from each panelist; t...
Conference Paper
This is the second of two panels to discuss pathways and barriers in moving promising ergonomic concepts from research to practice and in moving important ergonomic problems from practice to research. The panelists are from a variety of industry sectors and academia. The session will start with a 5-minute introductory statement from each panelist;...
Article
Workers' can be exposed to high levels of hand vibration when drilling into concrete or rock using hammer drills; exposures that can cause hand arm vibration syndrome. Exposure levels may be reduced by different drill and bit designs and drilling methods, but these interventions have not been systematically evaluated. The purpose of this project wa...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Between 2001 and 2010, six research groups conducted coordinated prospective studies of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) incidence among US workers from various industries to estimate exposure-response relationships. Objective: This analysis examined the presence and magnitude of confounding between biomechanical and workplace psychosoci...
Article
Full-text available
The burden of disabling musculoskeletal pain and injuries (musculoskeletal disorders, MSDs) arising from work-related causes in many workplaces remains substantial. There is little consensus on the most appropriate interventions for MSDs. Our objective was to update a systematic review of workplace-based interventions for preventing and managing up...
Article
Full-text available
An equation was developed for estimating hand activity level (HAL) directly from tracked root mean square (RMS) hand speed (S) and duty cycle (D). Table lookup, equation or marker-less video tracking can estimate HAL from motion/exertion frequency (F) and D. Since automatically estimating F is sometimes complex, HAL may be more readily assessed usi...
Article
In this Symposium, five investigators from different research institutions will present findings from six prospective studies of production workers to assess workplace risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome and other upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders. The presenters will focus on workplace physical and psychosocial factors, which were meas...
Article
Full-text available
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), though widely investigated, remains a troubling and costly disease for both employers and workers. Recent studies have consistently shown that combinations of force and repetition are occupational risk factors for CTS. However, it remains unclear which of these two factors is primarily responsible for the increase in r...
Article
Full-text available
Insufficient sample size causes lower statistical power that may hinder findings of relationships between occupational physical exposures and musculoskeletal disorders. To solve this problem, researchers often want to pool data with similar study designs together to increase the statistical power. However, a recent consortium study on the relations...
Article
Full-text available
We measured in vivo forces in the flexor digitorum profundus and the flexor digitorum superficialis tendons during commonly used rehabilitation manoeuvres after flexor tendon repair by placing a buckle force transducer on the tendons of the index finger in the carpal canal during open carpal tunnel release of 12 patients. We compared peak forces fo...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to develop a lexicon for 3-D hand gestures for common human-computer interaction (HCI) tasks by considering usability and effort ratings. Recent technologies create an opportunity for developing a free-form 3-D hand gesture lexicon for HCI. Subjects (N = 30) with prior experience using 2-D gestures on touch screens per...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of key gap (distance between edges of keys) on computer keyboards on typing speed, percentage error, preference, and usability. In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, a small key pitch (center-to-center distance between keys) was found to reduce productivity and usability, but the findings were confounded...
Article
Full-text available
Few large epidemiologic studies have used rigorous case criteria, individual-level exposure measurements, and appropriate control for confounders to examine associations between workplace psychosocial and biomechanical factors and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Pooling data from five independent research studies, we assessed associations between pre...
Article
Full-text available
A job exposure matrix may be useful for the study of biomechanical workplace risk factors when individual-level exposure data are unavailable. We used job title-based exposure data from a public data source to construct a job exposure matrix and test exposure-response relationships with prevalent carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Exposures of repetitiv...
Article
Full-text available
Evaluate associations between personal and workplace factors and median nerve conduction latency at the wrist. Baseline data on workplace psychosocial and physical exposures were pooled from four prospective studies of production and service workers (N = 2396). During the follow-up period, electrophysiologic measures of median nerve function were c...
Article
Full-text available
Six research groups independently conducted prospective studies of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) incidence in 54 US workplaces in 10 US States. Physical exposure variables were collected by all research groups at the individual worker level. Data from these research groups were pooled to increase the exposure spectrum and statistical power. This pap...