NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
The revised NIOSH lifting equation: current status.
From Experience to Innovation. IEA'97, Vol. 3, Complex Systems, Cognitive Ergonomics, Occupational Safety, Materials Handling, Proceedings of the 13th Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Tampere, Finland, June 29-July 4, 1997. Seppala P, Luopajarvi T, Nygard H, Mattila M, eds. Helsinki, Finland: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, 1997 Jun; 3:589-591
The existing status and characteristics of the revised NIOSH lifting equation (NLE) were reviewed. The revised NLE was a mathematical equation used to determine the amount of weight that could be safely lifted by almost any worker in a specific manual lifting task. The NIOSH lifting equation was first published in 1993. It differed from the original NLE in that it contained two new terms to account for asymmetric lifting and lifting loads with less than optimal hand coupling. Although both the original and revised NLE were intended as tools for designing jobs to prevent low back pain (LBP), the equations have been widely used as a tool for estimating the risk of lifting related LBP. Users of the NLE should realize that validation studies are needed to determine if the risk of LBP and other injuries associated with manual lifting can be effectively decreased if jobs are designed according to the NLE. Validation and evaluation studies of the BLE were summarized. Several cross sectional and longitudinal studies to evaluate the effectiveness of the NLE for reducing the risk of LBP due to manual lifting were in progress. The studies were designed to determine the relationship between the lifting index (LI), the risk prediction component of the equation, and the risk of LBP. Preliminary results indicated that the LI can predict the probability that a worker would report LBP that lasted at least 1 week during the preceding 12 months. Ergonomic applications of the revised NLE were summarized. A number of national and multinational companies were using the revised NLE to assist in designing and evaluating manual lifting jobs. For example, the NLE was used to assist in job design by providing coefficients for the terms in the equation that represented the relative contribution of various factors to the overall workload. This permitted alternative job designs to be evaluated without requiring expensive experimentation. The LI has also been used as a high level screening tool to determine if a particular job was hazardous and should, therefore, be redesigned. The role of the NLE in developing safety standards was summarized.
Manual-lifting; Mathematical-models; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Risk-analysis; Job-analysis; Back-injuries; Injury-prevention; Industrial-safety; Ergonomics;
Seppala-P; Luopajarvi-T; Nygard-C-H; Mattila-M
From Experience to Innovation. IEA'97, Vol. 3, Complex Systems, Cognitive Ergonomics, Occupational Safety, Materials Handling, Proceedings of the 13th Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Tampere, Finland, June 29-July 4, 1997
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division