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An ergonomic evaluation of a friction-feed pulley system to reduce back injuries among beer keg deliverymen.

McGlothlin JD
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1998 May; :63
Researchers from NIOSH conducted a field evaluation of friction-feed pulley system mounted on a beverage delivery truck delivering 165-lb beer kegs. The purpose of the study was to determine if there was a significant reduction in cardiovascular and biomechanical demands in using this system compared with manually lifting the kegs from the truck to the ground, It is hypothesized that if this system worked to reduce cardiovascular and biomechanical demands that the risk for back injuries would also be reduced. Heart rate data using a polar heart rate monitor was collected on three experienced beverage delivery drivers. The heart rate data was collected for one 8-hr workday on each driver. In addition, the delivery drivers were videotaped during beverage delivery and the videotapes were later analyzed in the laboratory for work risk factors and biomechanical analysis. The heart rate data and videotapes were time synchronized to observe work practices as a function of changes in heart rate. A random block statistical design was used to determine when to use and not use the friction-feed pulley system to remove the beer kegs. Analysis of the data showed a significant reduction in both heart rate (up to a 30% reduction in heart rate demand), and biomechanical demand, according to the 1993 NIOSH revised lifting formula. For this pilot study, the new friction-feed pulley system showed promise as a low-cost ergonomic solution toward reducing the potential for back injuries when removing 165-lb beer kegs from delivery trucks.
Ergonomics; Human-factors-engineering; Engineering-controls; Control-technology; Back-injuries; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Biomechanical-engineering; Biomechanics; Truck-drivers; Manual-materials-handling; Materials-handling; Materials-transport; Cardiovascular-function; Manual-lifting; Heart-rate; Risk-analysis; Drivers
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division