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Reducing Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders among Rodbusters

November 2009
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2010-103
cover of 2010-103

NIOSH evaluated reinforcing ironworkers’ (rodbusters) exposures to risk factors for developing low-back and hand disorders when tying together reinforcing steel bars (rebar) on a freeway bridge. Rodbusters used three techniques to tie rebar together—a pliers and a tie wire wheel, a battery operated power tier (PT), and a PT with an extension handle (PTE). NIOSH found that using the PT and PTE reduced the rodbusters’ exposures to risk factors for work-related low-back and hand-wrist disorders. In addition, power tying was twice as fast as than pliers tying.