NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Manual lifting: a guide to the study of simple and complex lifting tasks.

Colombini D; Occhipinti E; Alvarez-Casado E; Waters T
Colombini D, Occhipinti E, Alvarez-Casado E, Waters T, eds. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2012 Jul; :1-256
The rationale for this manual stems from contributions made by the Ergonomics of Posture and Movement (EPM) Research Unit toward implementing EU Directive Posture and Movement (EPM) Research Unit toward implementing EU Directive 901269/EEC, "Minimum Health and Safety Requirements for the Manual Handling of Loads Where There Is a Risk Particularly of Back Injuries to Workers," and transposing the directive into the national law of EU member states. Since the transposition into the local legislations of several countries, including Italy and Spain, encompasses not only European but also international criteria, methods and tools, such as the ISO 11228 regulations or the 1993 revised NIOSH lifting equation (RNLE) [Waters et al., 1993], this manual aims to offer all those involved in workplace ergonomics, protection, and prevention some useful guidance and tools (both on- and offline). Based on the practical experience of the authors, the manual should help users apply both the international standard ISO 11228-1 [ISO, 2003] and the RNLE. The tools were created by EPM with the support of a qualified group of co-workers in various European countries, based on extensive field experience. For over 10 years now, EPM has worked with researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), primarily Thomas Waters, the principal author of the RNLE, to develop theoretical models and application tools for the study of complex (variable and sequential) manual lifting tasks. Variable and sequential tasks today represent the latest evolution of the original RNLE [Waters et aI., 1993] and have become the reference method for international standards. Since the 1970s and 1980s there has been growing evidence in the scientific literature of a link between manual materials handling (MMH), especially lifting tasks, and lumbar spine problems (e.g., lower back pain and degenerative disorders). Today, the national authorities of many countries across the globe have introduced specific standards and guidelines for performing such activities and, even more importantly, for preventing negative effects on the health of workers and thus reducing the related social and economic costs. However, recent findings, primarily from European sources closer to the authors, would suggest that greater emphasis needs to be placed on the evaluation and prevention of manual materials handling activities. Workers are still widely exposed to such risks and disorders and injuries are still extensively reported in sectors such as agriculture, building construction, manufacturing, and health care.
Ergonomics; Manual-lifting; Manual-materials-handling; Materials-handling; Overloading; Weight-factors; Motion-studies; Biomechanics; Humans; Men; Women; Posture; Employee-exposure; Employee-health; Back-injuries; Musculoskeletal-system; Spinal-cord-disorders; Chronic-degenerative-diseases; Physical-stress; Physiological-response; Task-performance; Injury-prevention; Safety-measures; Standards; Legislation; Regulations; Health-standards; Analytical-instruments; Analytical-models
Publication Date
Document Type
Colombini D; Occhipinti E; Alvarez-Casado E; Waters T
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Wholesale and Retail Trade
Source Name
Manual lifting: a guide to the study of simple and complex lifting tasks
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division