There is the intangible part of design where, if you’re designing a bar/restaurant interior for instance, you are creating a vibe by choosing colors and materials. But the back of the house requires concrete numbers-based design: Can the petite bartender realistically carry the requisite amount of beer cases from the storeroom to the front? When the boxes of vegetables come off of the truck, what should the maximum distance to the cooler be to ensure efficient unloading? Can kegs be stored in the basement and muscled up the stairs, or will that be a back-breaker?
Thanks to an insurance company, designers can use hard data to answer these questions and inform their designs. The Liberty Mutual Research Institute’s “Snook Tables” were created by prominent ergonomicists Dr. Stover Snook and Dr. Vincent Ciriello, and they cover lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling and carrying tasks for both males and females. To make the data easy to access, Liberty Mutual has plugged the data into online calculators that anyone can use for free.
You can access the calculators here.
If you’d prefer to download a PDF of all of the Snook Tables and pore over the numbers the hard way, you can do that here.