Manual ergonomics assessments have multiple shortcomings: use of qualitative evaluation methods, employees often changing behavior while being assessed, singular assessments are often extrapolated. In-person assessments do not have the capability of generating the quantity and quality of data that can be generated using computer vision and AI. Wearable sensors can generate quantitative data that is more reliable and accurate than manual assessments. However, generating data sets from wearable technology only provides a sliver of the potential data that is a computer with computer vision. Extrapolating these small data sets can magnify errors and lead to under or overstating the risk level.
RULA is a valuable assessment tool that relies on in-person evaluation, documentation, and interpretation by a trained professional. While beneficial, they are time intensive for the safety professional and only capture a very small sample of the work process.