Isometric lifting strength as a predictor of industrial back pain reports.
Batti'e-MC; Bigos-SJ; Fisher-LD; Hansson-TH; Jones-ME; Wortley-MD
Spine 1989 Aug; 14(8):851-856
The blue collar workers at an aircraft manufacturing firm participated in an investigation to determine whether isometric lifting strength could be used to predict future back problems. Of the 3,020 employees, 2,178 underwent strength testing in three standard lifting positions. Over the following 4 years, back problems were reported by 172 of those who had participated in the investigation. An examination was then made of the results of their isometric lifting test findings to determine if any of these results could have predicted their later problems. The results indicated that those individuals who had greater isometric strength were significantly more at risk of future back injury than were weaker workers. Following an adjustment in the date for an age factor, however, this significant difference was reduced to a slight trend. The researchers conclude that for this study population the use of isometric lifting strength as a predictor of future back injury is ineffective. Had such testing been used as a screening method for hiring individuals for these tasks, it would not have reduced the number of back injuries in this population.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Manual-lifting; Manual-materials-handling; Screening-methods; Risk-factors; Risk-analysis
Orthopaedics University of Washington Department of Orthopaedics Seattle, Wash 98195
University of Washington, Seattle, Washington