Rapid Upper Limb Assessment
The Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) is a tool that allow us to evaluate the level of ergonomic risk associated with the upper extremity postures incurring by a worker who performs repetitive job tasks. This tool was develop using Microsoft Excel and Python3 in order to avoid manual procedures to allocate certain scores on the different tables of the RULA methodology. This methodology assigns a range of scores for the different postures in upper extremities, neck, trunk and legs taking into account the force and repetition of the activity, based on the observation of the job task. Being an easy and quick method of ergonomic analysis, this tool does not require expensive equipment to complete the information needed to perform the assessment.
The RULA is a practical method in terms of saving time and resources; however the precision of this tool could be affected by lack of information such as duration of the task, available recovery time, or hand-arm vibration. Moreover, the tool may require several RULA assessments for one task. After the interview and observation of the worker, it is possible to determine the criticality of the job task: if only one arm should be evaluated or if the assessment is needed for both sides, that's why usually it is recommended choose the most extreme posture to evaluate.
RULA method is usually applied on sedentary tasks such as computer tasks, manufacturing or retail tasks where the worker is seated or standing without moving about.