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PATH: a work sampling-based approach to ergonomic job analysis for construction and other non-repetitive work.
Buchholz B; Paquet V; Punnett L; Lee D; Moir S
Appl Ergon 1996 Jun; 27(3):177-187
A high prevalence and incidence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders have been reported in construction work. Unlike industrial production-line activity, construction work, as well as work in many other occupations (e.g. agriculture, mining), is non-repetitive in nature; job tasks are non-cyclic, or consist of long or irregular cycles. PATH (Posture, Activity, Tools and Handling), a work sampling-based approach, was developed to characterize the ergonomic hazards of construction and other non-repetitive work. The posture codes in the PATH method are based on the Ovako Work Posture Analysing System (OWAS), with other codes included for describing worker activity, tool use, loads handled and grasp type. For heavy highway construction, observations are stratified by construction stage and operation, using a taxonomy developed specifically for this purpose. Observers can code the physical characteristics of the job reliably after about 30 h of training. A pilot study of six construction laborers during four road construction operations suggests that laborers spend large proportions of time in nonneutral trunk postures and spend approximately 20 percent of their time performing manual material handling tasks. These results demonstrate how the PATH method can be used to identify specific construction operations and tasks that are ergonomically hazardous.
Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Construction-equipment; Construction-materials; Sampling; Sampling-methods; Job-analysis; Task-performance; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Ergonomics; Posture; Tools; Physical-stress; Materials-handling; Manual-materials-handling; Manual-lifting; Work-environment; Environmental-hazards; Health-hazards; Road-construction; Author Keywords: ergonomics; construction; job analysis methods; posture; manual material handling
Construction Occupational Health Project, Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell, One University Avenue, Lowell, MA 018.54, USA
Cooperative Agreement; Contract; Construction
Issue of Publication
Center to Protect Workers' Rights
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division