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The effectiveness of a NIOSH multimedia training program.

Bowles-W; Waters-TR
ICOH 2002 Oct; :105-106
Lifting tasks are a required part of many of the normal everyday jobs performed by workers. These work related tasks involve the lifting, moving, and/or relocation of objects varying from the small and lightweight to the very large and heavier objects. Low back pain and back injuries are the most frequently reported occupational injuries consistently attributed to improperly designed manual lifting-related activities. The consequences of improperly designed lifts can be increased worker injury rates. The costs resulting from worker injury can be decreased overall productivity, increased worker medical leave time with the associated medical costs and possibly the replacement costs associated with the loss of a worker. The National Institute For Occupational Safety And Health (NIOSH) has created the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation to assist in the determination of the recommended limits for a lifting task. This equation is used to create and evaluate the best design for a lifting task. After a design is chosen, the multipliers used in the lifting equation can be interpreted to make the decision "is this the best possible design for the lifting task?" Thus, the NIOSH Lifting Equation helps address the challenge facing both employers and safety professionals to implement, evaluate and alter lifting tasks in the field. NIOSH has created an interactive multimedia training program to assist employers and safety professionals in the correct use of the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation. The study described in this presentation will examine the efficacy of three methods used to train safety professionals in the correct application of the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation. To accomplish this research NIOSH will use a self-directed CD-RaM-based multimedia instructional program to instruct end-users in: (a) precise measurement of parameters needed for the lifting equation, and (b) use of the automatic calculator (incorporated in the CD) to correctly compute the recommended weight limit and lifting index required to evaluate the proposed lift. The research design consist of three groups: (a) a control group consisting of subjects given written instruction (text and graphic representations only) on the use of the lifting equation; (b) a traditional classroom group, with training provided by an instructor skilled in the use of the lifting equation; and (c) a group given the self-directed CD-RaM-based multimedia instructional program. All three groups will be evaluated, after their training is completed, with respect to competency and understanding of the lifting equation. This study is expected to show that the easy-to-use calculator and interactive multimedia instructional program for the Revised NIOSH lifting Equation have increased the proper use of the equation. This should generalize well to employers and safety professionals in the field, thereby reducing the risk of injury from lifting tasks. The correct use of the lifting equation will (positively) contribute to job-redesign, thereby lowering the incidence of work-related lower back pain and injury that results from hazardous lifting tasks. It is also expected that the correct use of the Revised NIOSH lifting equation will be reflected in both formative and summative workplace design, and redesign, so as to facilitate greater safety awareness and creation of more worker friendly environments. This multimedia instructional program will be available for broad distribution on CD-ROM and will be translated into a "smart system" for the NIOSH web site.
Training; Back-injuries; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Manual-lifting; Worker-health; Safety-measures; Risk-factors; Occupational-hazards; Hazards; Work-environment; Materials-handling; Manual-materials-handling
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Best Practices in Occupational Safety and Health, Education, Training, and Communication: Ideas That Sizzle, 6th International Conference, Scientific Committee on Education and Training in Occupational Health, ICOH, In Cooperation with The International Communication Network, ICOH, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, October 28-30, 2002
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division