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Bag handling assist controls for airport screening processes.

Lu M-L; Dick R; Werren D; Lowe B
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, EPHB 010-22a, 2014 Feb; :1-24
Through an inter-agency agreement, researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) were requested by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to conduct ergonomic assessments of a vacuum lifting assist device at the Oklahoma City International Airport (OKC) and of an automatic baggage moving system at the Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW). We assessed the effectiveness of the two engineering controls in reducing the risk of low back disorders (LBDs) associated with baggage screening operations. Data were collected on June 11, 2008 at OKC in the T7 checked baggage screening area and on February 8, 2011 at MDW in the L3 baggage screening area. The two systems were used to lift/move bags from several Explosion Testing Device (ETD) tables and one clear conveyor belt (conveyor for screened baggage). Operational hand force and posture data for the engineering controls were collected from on-site mock-up operations using a force gauge and a digital video camcorder. LBD risk data (i.e., back compressive force in the lumbar-sacral region) associated with the engineering controls were analyzed by a video analysis employing the University of Michigan's three dimensional biomechanical model. Using a 50 lb. baggage weight for risk calculations, the average back compressive forces for using the vacuum lift system and the baggage moving system were 262 and 401 lbs., respectively. Compared with complete manual baggage lifting, the reductions in the back compression forces were about 63% and 44% for the vacuum lift and the automatic baggage moving system, respectively. Findings of the risk assessments suggest that the two engineering controls have a great potential for reducing LBDs associated with manual baggage lifting and handling.
Ergonomics; Materials-handling; Materials-handling-equipment; Manual-materials-handling; Engineering-controls; Control-technology; Back-injuries; Biomechanical-modeling; Biomechanics; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Author Keywords: Musculoskeletal disorders; Lifting; NIOSH Lifting Equation; Lifting Index; Biomechanical model
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Control Technology
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
EPHB-010-22a; M022014
NIOSH Division
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SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division