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Quantification of ergonomic hazards for ironworkers performing concrete reinforcement tasks during heavy highway construction.

Authors
Buchholz-B; Paquet-V; Wellman-H; Forde-M
Source
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 2003 Mar/Apr; 64(2):243-250
NIOSHTIC No.
20040159
Abstract
A study was conducted to assess the ergonomic hazards of ironwork job tasks associated with concrete reinforcement work at a large highway construction site. PATH (posture, activity, tools, and handling) analysis, a work-sampling method, was used to provide task-based estimates of the percentage of time ironworkers spent in specified postures of the trunk, arms, and legs; performed activities; used tools; and handled loads. A total of 2128 PATH observations were made of 17 ironworkers performing 5 job tasks: (1) ground-level reinforcement bar (rebar) construction, (2) wall rebar construction, (3) ventilation rebar construction, (4) preparation work, and (5) supervising. Nonneutral trunk postures were observed frequently (exceeding 30%) and manual material handling (MMH) was the most commonly observed activity (exceeding 20%) for all job tasks except supervising. The percentage of time workers spent in specific postures, activities performed, tool use, and MMH activities differed significantly between the five main job tasks, even when supervising was excluded from the analysis. It was concluded that ironworkers are exposed to significant ergonomic hazards when performing concrete reinforcing tasks, and that opportunities exist for the implementation of ergonomic interventions. Further, the results of this study can be used to target specific hazardous tasks for ergonomic interventions and confirms the need to use a task-based exposure assessment strategy to properly assess ergonomic risk profiles for nonstructured jobs such as construction.
Keywords
Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Construction; Iron-industry; Iron-workers; Iron-working-industry; Ergonomics; Task-performance; Work-performance; Worker-health; Concretes; Road-construction; Construction-equipment; Construction-materials; Machine-tools; Materials-handling; Posture; Tools; Physical-stress; Manual-materials-handling; Body-regions; Job-analysis; Author Keywords: concrete reinforcement; ergonomics; highway construction; ironwork
Contact
Bryan Buchholz, Construction Occupational Health Project, Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell, One University Avenue, Lowell, MA 01854
CODEN
AIHAAP
Publication Date
20030301
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Bryan_Buchholz@uml.edu
Funding Amount
751370
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement; Construction
Fiscal Year
2003
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U02-CCU-308771
Issue of Publication
2
ISSN
0002-8894
Priority Area
Musculoskeletal-system-disorders
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
State
MA; DC
Performing Organization
Center to Protect Workers' Rights
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