Occupational back pain and injury are common and costly issues. Biomechanical models are often used to quantify job risk by estimating back muscle forces. In general, the most accurate models are also the most complex, creating demand for models that are both straightforward and accurate. An existing, basic hand-calculation back compressive force estimation model (HCBCF v1.0) was revised in two iterations to reduce the error induced by original simplifying assumptions. Lifting tasks (n=6000) from observational data were used to compare the HCBCF models with the University of Michigan 3D Static Strength Prediction Program (3DSSPP) The greatest r(2) (0.97) between the HCBCF v1.2 and the 3DSSPP was achieved with gender-specific equations designed to account for differences between males and females and a more detailed estimation of torso flexion angle and upper body mass center location. This gender-specific back compression and risk estimation model is a relatively simple alternative to computer-based back compressive force models. In addition the hand-calculation can be used as a general survey tool to determine which jobs should be analyzed with more sophisticated computer-based models.
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