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Human posture simulation to assess cumulative spinal load due to manual lifting. Part I: methods.

Waters-TR; Lu-M-L; Werren-D; Piacitelli-L
Theor Issues Ergon Sci 2011 Mar; 12(2):176-188
The estimation of cumulative spinal load (CSL) resulting from exposure to manual materials handling (MMH) may provide a sensitive method for assessing the risk of highly varying exposures. This article reports on a CSL method that involves human posture simulation of workers from videotape in order to assess spinal load exposures due to MMH. The proposed method appears to be sensitive to different durations of exposure, easy to use and useful for assessing jobs with a high degree of variability in task characteristics between lifts. Although the method remains to be validated, it appears to be a useful addition to the range of tools available for assessing manual lifting exposures in worksite-based epidemiologic studies. Ergonomic methods are lacking for assessing highly variable MMH tasks, such as tasks found in warehousing. The existing methods do not include sufficient factors to account for variable exposure patterns or tasks with highly variable task characteristics, such as varying load weights and lift geometries. The CSL assessment method described in this article may provide a way to evaluate these types of tasks in order to assess the overall risk of workers developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
Ergonomics; Musculoskeletal-system; Manual-lifting; Manual-materials-handling; Humans; Spinal-cord; Spinal-shock; Posture; Cumulative-trauma; Simulation-methods; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-methods; Job-analysis; Analytical-methods; Weight-factors; Author Keywords: human posture simulation; cumulative spinal loading; manual lifting; NIOSH Lifting Equation
Thomas R. Waters, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Applied Research and Technology, 4676 Columbia Parkway MS C-24, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA
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Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division