Prevention and control of occupational musculoskeletal disorders

The US-American National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
in collaboration with the Canadian Centre of Research Expertise for the
Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD) has released a new NIOSH
publication Observation-Based Posture Assessment: Review of Current Practice
and Recommendations for Improvement.

The purpose of this document is to help practitioners assess working posture
for the prevention and control of occupational musculoskeletal disorders
(MSDs). Quantitative or semiquantitative descriptions of posture are inputs to
many job analysis tools applied in MSD prevention and control. Studies of the
relationship between risk factors (such as posture, repetition, and force) and
resulting MSD prevalence have used various approaches to characterizing working
posture, including observation-based methods. Posture classification by
systematic observation of a worker is commonly used in research and by
practitioners, such as ergonomists, industrial hygienists, and safety
professionals, to help inform job design decisions and establish safe work
limits to reduce MSD injury risk in the workplace.

The document describes an observational approach for assessing postural stress
of the trunk and upper limbs that is intended to improve risk analysis for
prevention of musculoskeletal disorders. The approach is supported by several
recent research studies. These studies have evaluated how much time it takes
observers to classify specific trunk and upper limb postures, how frequently
observers are likely to make posture classification errors, and the magnitude
of these errors. The document also presents more general guidelines for the
video recording of posture and for the posture analysis process.

More information: - Source: Centre for Occupational Health and Safety