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Use of the CABS methodology to assess biomechanical stress in commercial crab fishermen.
Mirka GA; Shin G; Kucera K; Loomis D
Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 46th Annual Meeting, September 29 - October 4, 2002, Baltimore, Maryland, Bringing Fundamentals & New Opportunities. Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 2002 Sep; 46(Ind Erg):1152-1156
Commercial fishing is a job characterized by long hours in an unpredictable natural environment and variable demands placed on the musculoskeletal system, requiring strength, coordination, and endurance. The focus of this project was in the quantification of the biomechanical stresses placed on the lumbar spine during the work activities of commercial crab fishermen. The Continuous Assessment of Back Stress (CABS) methodology was used to develop distributions describing the amount of time that each of the three workers on a three-man crabbing crew spend at various levels of spine stress. The results of this analysis, expressed in terms of time weighted histograms, show significant variability in the loading of the lumbar spine during regular daily activities both within and between crew members. While the captain has relatively low stress levels, the mate experiences high force (up to 30kg), dynamic exertions while pulling the crab pots from the water up into the boat and high loads (20-40kg) during the loading and unloading of the boat, while the third man experiences static awkward postures (forward flexed postures held for up to five minutes at a time) as he sorts and packs the crabs.
Biomechanics; Fishing-industry; Musculoskeletal-system; Environmental-factors; Back-injuries; Posture; Ergonomics; Muscle-function; Spinal-cord; Stress; Posture; Humans; Accident-prevention; Injury-prevention
Issue of Publication
Disease and Injury: Traumatic Injuries
Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 46th Annual Meeting, September 29 - October 4, 2002, Baltimore, Maryland, Bringing Fundamentals & New Opportunities
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Page last reviewed: October 9, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division