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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...
Two-dimensional biomechanical thumb model for pipetting
Manual pipetting imposes repetitive movements, high force, and awkward postures on the thumb, fingers, and wrist, increasing the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. The purpose of this study is to provide a linear regression model to estimate the optimal pipetting grip height based on the two-dimensional biomechanical static thumb model developed in this study. This biomechanical static thumb model uses hand anatomy and static equilibrium conditions to estimate internal tendon forces against a given external force. Based on the model, we conclude that the optimal grip height is 3 cm in males and...
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...
What do Workers do to Reduce Their Sitting Time?
The Relationships of Strategy use and Workplace Support with Desk-Based Workers' Behaviour Changes in a Workplace-Delivered Sitting-Reduction and Activity-Promoting Intervention Objective: To explore workers' sitting-reduction and activity-promoting strategy use following an intervention targeting these changes, and whether strategy use and perceived workplace support impacted on three-month sitting and activity outcomes. Methods: This secondary analysis in desk-based workers (n = 83) utilised data collected on questionnaire-derived strategy use and workplace support, and activPAL3TM-derived...
Occupational biomechanical risk factors for surgically treated ulnar nerve entrapment in a prospective study of male construction workers
Evidence was provided for forceful hand-grip work, with and without vibration, as a risk factor for ulnar nerve entrapment (UNE) surgery in a large cohort of Swedish construction workers. Several individual biomechanical factors comprising such work were associated with increased risk of UNE, including: increased grip force, upper extremity load, frequency of hand-held tool use, and hand arm vibration. Source: Jackson, J. A., Olsson, D., Punnett, L., Burdorf, A., Järvholm, B. et Wahlström, J. (2018). Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health . http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh...
Economic evaluation of a randomized controlled trial of an intervention to reduce office workers’ sitting time: the "Stand Up Victoria" trial
Multicomponent intervention involving a sit-and-stand desk can reduce sitting time and increase the standing and stepping time during the working hours for office-based workers, and it is likely to promote the cardiovascular fitness. It is cost-effective in the long-term from a societal perspective. This study provides important evidence for policy-makers and workplaces regarding allocation of resources to reduce workplace sitting. Source: Gao, L., Flego, A., Dunstan, D. W., Winkler, E. A., Healy, G. N., Eakin, E. G., ... et Wiesner, G. H. (2018). Scandinavian journal of work, environment &...
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...
A practical guidance for assessments of sedentary behavior at work
A PEROSH initiative Sedentary behavior is defined as sitting or lying with low energy expenditure. Humans in industrialized societies spend an increasing amount of time in sedentary behaviors every day. This has been associated with detrimental health outcomes. Despite a growing interest in the health effects of sedentary behavior at work, associations remain unclear, plausibly due to poor and diverse methods for assessing sedentary behavior. Thus, good practice guidance for researchers and practitioners on how to assess occupational sedentary behavior are needed. The aim of this paper is to provide...
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
Evaluating the low back biomechanics of three different office workstations: Seated, standing, and perching
The objective of this study was to evaluate how different workstations may influence physical behavior in office work through motion and how that may affect spinal loads and discomfort. Twenty subjects performed a typing task in three different workstations (seated, standing, and perching) for one hour each. Measures of postural transitions, spinal loads, discomfort, and task performance were assessed in order to understand the effects of workstation interaction over time. Results indicated that standing had the most amount of motion (6–8 shifts/min), followed by perching (3–7 shifts...
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