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Comparative analysis of manual handling practices in kerbside collection of recyclable waste
Government targets for reducing waste going to landfill h ave led to an increase in the processing of domestic waste to reclaim recyclable materials. Manual sorting tasks can occur at the kerbside during waste collection and, if poorly designed, can introduce manual handling risks. This report describes research to better understand the kerbside collection and sorting methods currently employed by the waste industry and to determine how manual handling risks can best be reduced or controlled. Six detailed case studies are presented showing a range of vehicles and processes in operation. Manual...
Overall risk index for patient transfers in total assistance mode executed by emergency medical technician-paramedics in real work situations
Few studies have quantified the risk of musculoskeletal disorders during patient transfers in total assistance mode in real-life prehospital emergency care situations. An index to assess the overall risk of patient transfers was created; it makes it possible to quantify risk based on the patient's position and the height of the patient's location. An analysis of 71 transfers executed by paramedics in actual work situations showed that moving a patient from the ground was characterized by acute sagittal flexions and axial rotations, respectively, 42% and 12% of the time. When the patient...
A comparison of lumbar spine and muscle loading between male and female workers during box transfers
There is a clear relationship between lumbar spine loading and back musculoskeletal disorders in manual materials handling. The incidence of back disorders is greater in women than men, and for similar work demands females are functioning closer to their physiological limit. It is crucial to study loading on the spine musculoskeletal system with actual handlers, including females, to better understand the risk of back disorders. Extrapolation from biomechanical studies conducted on unexperienced subjects (mainly males) might not be applicable to actual female workers. For male workers, expertise...
The influence of external load configuration on trunk biomechanics and spinal loading during sudden loading
Sudden loading is a major risk factor for work-related lower back injuries among occupations involving manual material handling (MMH). The current study explored the effects of external weight configuration on trunk biomechanics and trunk rotational stiffness in the sagittal plane during sudden loading. Fifteen asymptomatic volunteers experienced sudden loadings using the same magnitude of weight (9 kg) with two different configurations (medially- or laterally-distributed) at three levels of height (low, middle and high). Results of this study showed that the medially distributed weight...
Surface electromyography for risk assessment in work activities designed using the “revised NIOSH lifting equation”
The aims of this study were: to identify surface electromyography (sEMG)-based indices of trunk muscles acquired during the execution of lifting tasks designed using the revised NIOSH lifting equation and featuring a progressively increasing lifting index (LI); to study changes of these indices in relation to the LI; to evaluate the relationship between the identified indices and forces (FL5−S1) and moments (ML5−S1) at the L5-S1 joint. sEMG, kinematic and kinetic data of 20 male workers were recorded in three conditions. We computed the average rectified value (ARV), root mean square...
How does the biomechanical exposure of the upper body in manual box handling differ from exposure in other tasks in the real industrial context?
The assessment of biomechanical exposure during handling tasks in relation to other activities that are performed in industrial settings can be crucial to understand the biomechanical demands of manual box handling for the upper limbs. This study aims to evaluate the representativeness of the handling task to the upper body in comparison with the other tasks in a real setting, compare the biomechanical exposure between tasks, and identify the differences in exposure during manual box handling from job exposure. Twelve workers had biomechanical exposure assessed through trapezius muscle activity...
Pour quelles raisons la formation aux techniques sécuritaires de manutention ne fonctionne-t-elle pas?
Revue critique de la littérature La formation en manutention fait l'objet de nombreuses demandes de la part des milieux de travail. Or, malgré leur abondante diffusion, ces formations voient leur efficacité remise en cause par cinq méta-analyses publiées entre 2007 et 2014. La consultation de ces revues de la littérature ne permet pas de comprendre les raisons pour lesquelles il en est ainsi puisque les formations recensées – et dont on tente d'évaluer l'efficacité – n'y sont pas décrites, ou alors...
Développement d’un système de mesures et d’un protocole de mesures permettant de quantifier l’exposition physique des manutentionnaires
L'objectif principal de ce projet était de combiner différents senseurs et instruments pour expérimenter, en laboratoire et sur le terrain, un système de mesures permettant d'estimer quantitativement l'exposition physique des manutentionnaires. Ce type de système pourrait éventuellement servir à évaluer objectivement l'efficacité d'approches de prévention. Un second objectif consistait à mettre au point une stratégie d'échantillonnage pour optimiser la mesure de l'exposition physique...
Accuracy of identification of low or high risk lifting during standardised lifting situations
The aim was to classify lifting activities into low and high risk categories (according to The Danish Working Environment Authority guidelines) based on surface electromyography (sEMG) and trunk inclination (tri-axial accelerometer) measurements. Lifting tasks with different weights, horizontal distance and technique were performed. The lifting tasks were characterised by a feature vector composed of either the 90th, 95th or 99th percentile of sEMG activity level and trunk inclinations during the task. Linear Discriminant Analysis and a subject-specific threshold scheme were applied and lifting...
Inter-day reliability of surface electromyography recordings of the lumbar part of erector spinae longissimus and trapezius descendens during box lifting
Background: Low back pain and neck-shoulder pain are the most reported types of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, and performing heavy lifting at work and working with trunk rotation increase the risk of developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Surface electromyography (sEMG) provides information about the electrical activity of muscles. Thus it has the potential to retrieve indirect information about the physical exposure of specific muscles of workers during their actual work. This study aimed to investigate the inter-day reliability of absolute and normalized amplitude of sEMG...
Intégrer la prévention des risques professionnels dès la conception des équipements d'aide à la manutention des personnes
Les risques professionnels encourus par les utilisateurs d'équipements d'aide à la manutention des personnes ne sont pas toujours bien pris en compte lors de leur conception. À travers l'exemple du Milo, un équipement d'aide au transfert de personnes et à la toilette, l'INRS a élaboré des recommandations pour intégrer la prévention de ces risques dès la conception des aides techniques et limiter ainsi les efforts liés à leur utilisation. Source: Gille, S., Kerangueven, L. (2017). Hygiène...
Identifying the critical physical demanding tasks of paramedic work
Towards the development of a physical employment standard Public safety related occupations including police, fire and military commonly apply physical employment standard (PES) to facilitate job matching, an approach to evaluate if candidates demonstrate acceptable physical capabilities as required to perform the job safely and effectively. In Canada, paramedics remain as one of the few public safety occupations without an evidence-based, validated PES. The purpose of this study was to document and describe the physical demands of paramedic work and to identify the most physically demanding tasks...
NIOSH Lifting Equation App: NLE Calc
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Lifting Equation mobile application, NLE Calc, is a tool to calculate the overall risk index for single and multiple manual lifting tasks. This application provides risk estimates to help evaluate lifting tasks and reduce the incidence of low back injuries in workers. Source: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/ergonomics/nlecalc.html
Cumulative occupational mechanical exposures during working life and risk of sickness absence and disability pension
Prospective cohort study Using a biomechanical job exposure matrix combined with Danish registers, cumulative occupational mechanical exposures throughout life (ie, more years with heavy and frequent lifting, and kneeling work) predicted risk of long-term sickness absence among older workers. Importantly, heavy lifting throughout working life was associated with disability pension. Source: Sundstrup E, Hansen ÅM, Mortensen EL, Poulsen OM, Clausen T, Rugulies R, Møller A, Andersen LL. (2017). Scand J Work Environ Health . http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3663
Development and validation of an easy-to-use risk assessment tool for cumulative low back loading
The Lifting Fatigue Failure Tool (LiFFT) Recent evidence suggests that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) may be the result of a fatigue failure process in affected tissues. This paper describes a new low back exposure assessment tool (the Lifting Fatigue Failure Tool [LiFFT]), which estimates a “daily dose” of cumulative loading on the low back using fatigue failure principles. Only three variables are necessary to derive the cumulative load associated with a lifting task: the weight of the load, the maximum horizontal distance from the spine to the load, and the number of repetitions...
Difference between male and female workers lifting the same relative load when palletizing boxes
A few biomechanical studies have contrasted the work techniques of female and male workers during manual material handling (MMH). A recent study showed that female workers differed from males mostly in the strategy they used to lift 15-kg boxes from the ground, especially regarding task duration, knee and back postures and interjoint coordination. However, the lifting technique difference observed in females compared to males was perhaps due to a strength differences. The objective of this study was to test whether female workers would repeat the same lifting technique with a load adjusted to their...
Pushing and pulling: An assessment tool for OHS practitioners
A tool has been developed for supporting practitioners when assessing manual pushing and pulling operations based on an initiative by two global companies in the manufacturing industry. The aim of the tool is to support occupational health and safety practitioners in risk assessment and risk management of pushing and pulling operations in the manufacturing and logistics industries. It is based on a nine-multiplier equation that includes a wide range of factors affecting an operator's health risk and capacity in pushing and pulling. These multipliers are based on psychophysical, physiological...
Sickness absence and permanent work disability in relation to upper- and lower-body pain and occupational mechanical and psychosocial exposures
Musculoskeletal pain in multiple sites has been associated with sickness absence and permanent work disability. We found that high occupational mechanical exposures were associated with sickness absence, particularly in case of combined pain in the upper and lower body. We also found that combined pain and low social support at work were associated with permanent work disability. Source: Sommer, T. G., Svendsen, S. W., & Frost, P. (2016). Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health . http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3600
Association between occupational lifting and day-to-day change in low-back pain intensity based on company records and text messages
Most previous studies assessing the association between physical workload and development of low-back pain have used self-reports for exposure. Using company records for quantifying exposure, this study shows that consecutive working days and higher workload are associated with acutely increased low-back pain. Source: Andersen LL, Fallentin N, Ajslev JZN, Jakobsen MD, Sundstrup E. Scand J Work Environ Health , 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3592
Estimation of lumbar spinal loading and trunk muscle forces during asymmetric lifting tasks
Application of whole-body musculoskeletal modelling in OpenSim Large spinal compressive force combined with axial torsional shear force during asymmetric lifting tasks is highly associated with lower back injury (LBI). The aim of this study was to estimate lumbar spinal loading and muscle forces during symmetric lifting (SL) and asymmetric lifting (AL) tasks using a whole-body musculoskeletal modelling approach. Thirteen healthy males lifted loads of 7 and 12 kg under two lifting conditions (SL and AL). Kinematic data and ground reaction force data were collected and then processed by a whole-body...
Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation May generate spine loads exceeding recommended limits
The 1991 NIOSH Lifting Equation (NLE) is widely used to assess the risk of injury to spine by providing estimates of the recommended weight limit (RWL) in hands. The present study uses the predictive equations developed based on a detailed trunk musculoskeletal biomechanical model to verify whether the RWL generates L5-S1 loads within the limits (e.g., 3400 N for compression recommended by NIOSH and 1000 N for shear recommended in some studies). Fifty lifting activities are simulated here to evaluate the RWL by the NLE and the L5-S1 loads by the predictive equations. In lifting activities involving...
Evaluation of the use of the pushing and pulling operations risk assessment tool by dutyholders
This report describes the usability testing of a prototype tool for assessing the manual handling risks associated with tasks involving pushing or pulling of loads. It builds on earlier work by HSL to develop Pushing and Pulling Operations Assessment Charts (PPAC) (Research Report 998). Feedback on the assessment of typical operations in the field indicated that the risk factors included in the tool are relevant, useful, relatively easy to identify and that they covered most of the conditions found in workplaces. Duty holders who took part in the study were able to differentiate between categories...
Cinématique et modélisation biomécanique de l’épaule lors de tâches de manutention
De récentes revues de la littérature épidémiologique montrent que travailler avec les bras en position levée augmente la probabilité de développer des troubles musculosquelettiques (TMS) aux épaules. Bien que l’origine et les mécanismes de TMS à l’épaule manquent d’évidence dans la littérature scientifique, réaliser une tâche avec les bras en position levée cause un chargement de la musculature de l’épaule plus important. Cependant, peu d’éléments...
Determining Safe Limits for Significant Task Parameters During Manual Lifting
This experimental study investigated the effect of lifting task parameters (i.e., lifting weight, frequency, coupling, asymmetric angle, and vertical, horizontal, and travel distances) for various dynamic human lifting activities on the ground reaction forces of workers. Ten male workers loaded containers from different levels asymmetrically during experimental trials. The experimental design evolved using Taguchi's Fractional Factorial Experiments. Three factors (lifting weight, frequency, and vertical distance) were observed to be significant. The results showed that vertical reaction forces...
The assessment of material handling strategies in dealing with sudden loading
The effects of load handling position on trunk biomechanics Back injury caused by sudden loading is a significant risk among workers that perform manual handling tasks. The present study investigated the effects of load handling position on trunk biomechanics (flexion angle, L5/S1 joint moment and compression force) during sudden loading. Eleven subjects were exposed to a 6.8 kg sudden loading while standing upright, facing forward and holding load at three different vertical heights in the sagittal plane or 45° left to the sagittal plane (created by arm rotation). Results showed that the increase...
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