Evaluation of satchels for postal letter carriers

M. M. Ayoub, James L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A research project funded by the United States Postal Service surveyed letter carriers to evaluate three alternative satchel designs and the current satchel. The evaluation consisted of both field surveys and a laboratory study. Each satchel had positive and negative attributes. A two-pouch system (satchel C) that distributed weight on both sides of the body, proved to be the best alternative in the laboratory study. However, concerns regarding the use of satchel C for defense against a dog attack made its desirability questionable in the survey. The study showed that none of the four satchels was a universally accepted alternative. Recommendations are offered to improve the satched design. Relevance to industry. The study examines four satchel designs that were evaluated for the US Postal Service. Similar techniques could be used to evaluate industrial designs for tools, equipment, clothing, or other work items.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-279
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 15 1999


  • Biomechanical evaluation
  • Letter carriers
  • Questionnaires
  • Satchel design


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