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Industrial Engineering,

Ergonomics & Work Organization


Unit 10
Production Ergonomics
Fall 2006

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Christopher M. Schlick


Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics
RWTH Aachen University
Bergdriesch 27
52062 Aachen
phone: 0241 80 99 440
email: c.schlick@iaw.rwth-aachen.de

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University
Learning objectives

different types of physical work

different types of muscular work

Factors influencing spine damage

Methods for assessing the danger of spine


damage at work places
physiological principles of work place design

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 2
Types of work strain
Handling of heavy loads 27%
Work standing upright 61%

Chill, moisture,
21% Noise 21%
dampness, draught

Oil, dirt, grease 18%


Forced posture 19%

Glaring light,
Smoke, gas, 9%
15% insufficient lighting
dust, vapour

Protective clothing 17%

Vibrations, thrusts 7%
Handling of hazardous
6%
substances, radiation
Source:
Sicherheit und Gesundheit bei der Arbeit 2000, Bericht der Bundesregierung ber den Stand von Sicherheit und Gesundheit bei der Arbeit und ber das
Unfall- und Berufskrankheitengeschehen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland im Jahre 2000 (http://de.osha.eu.int/statistics/statistiken/suga/suga_2000/)
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 3

One of the main tasks of preventive health protection is the avoidance of


back pain and injuries that can result from lifting of loads without any aids.
According to a report by the Department of Labors Bureau of Labor
Statistics, in the 1980s 20% of all occupational illnesses were traced back
to back problems.

A health risk is particularly common for energetic-effective work forms,


especially for ones in which the handling of loads occurs. The EU Directive
90/269/EWG demands preventive measures for the avoidance of risk due
to handling of loads, as well as that workplaces dealing with load handling
evaluate the risks for their employees.
Integration of the subject into the Work Type
Classification
General type Physical (energetic) work
of work Informational work

Specific type mechanical motor reactive combinatory creative


of work

Typical activities:

application of movements Assembling


Which forces Use of machines:
human - inserting and removing work objects
skills exact - controlling machine operations
does the mecha-
nical work
movements - monitoring work processes
job in terms
with little Manually operated processes (e.g. filing, drilling)
require? application of Material handling
of physics
force
Maintenance

Which muscles sense Common indicators :


organs or tendons organs
functions skeleton muscles Repetitive actions
are respiration tendons Time-phased processes and defined standard
affected? circulation circulation times

Examples Carry Assembly


One-sided strain and limited regulation
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 4

In ergonomics, the ideal types of extreme forms of human work known


informational and physical/energetic work are referred to as pure
information/energy transformation. The five types of work (creative, combinatory,
reactive, motor and mechanical) are a mixture of the two basic forms (cf. Luczak,
H.: Arbeitswissenschaft (1998), p. 28)
Stress-Factors on the human body

Metabolic System
Cardiac Circulatory (O2 and nutrition converting)
System
(Transport system
and heat balance)

environmental influences
...resulting from
e.g.
Spine
(Carrying of loads
climate,
and parts of the body)
substances
Focus of this lecture

Muscles & Tendons


(static and dynamic
muscular work)

Bones & Joints

...resulting from activity

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 5
Types of physical work
A major assumption of biomechanics is that the bodys movements follow the laws of Newtonian
mechanics. The study of mechanics involving motion is called dynamics. When in a given situation
the resultant motion in Newton`s laws is zero then analysis is therefore static.

Mainly physical work

Static Dynamic
muscular work muscular work

One-sided
static Heavy dynamic
Kind of work: body fixation
holding work muscular work
dynamic
muscular work

internal external Large groups


Small groups of
Characteristic: distribution of distribution of of muscles
muscles*
force force and circulation

Positioning of Overhead Movements of


e.g. manual
Examples: the body welding, working
assembling
against gravity holding of loads equipment
* (< 1/7 of all groups of muscles)
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 6

Types of physical work


see 8-9
Basic biomechanical principle

Muscles are the only organ that can work in two completely different ways.

Shortening of
the
muscle

distance

isometric isotonic
at rest contraction at rest contraction

Static Muscular Work Dynamic Muscular Work

During isometric contraction, the length The isotonic contraction of the muscle
of the muscle stays constant. is characterized by a shortening of the
It is characterized by rising of force; muscle. When a mass is lifted, work in
this is not work in the physical sense of the physical sense is being done
the word! Static muscular work can (physical work = force distance).
only be described in physiological terms
(physiological work = force time).
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 7

Basic biomechanical principle

Muscles are the only organs that are able to work in two completely
different ways:
Static muscular work (SMW) and Dynamic muscular work (DMW).
SMW involves a muscle in constant contraction without producing any
movement. For example, holding a load away from the body, standing in
one place operating a foot pedal, pushing a heavy load, or loading a pallet
with goods. And even when the muscle is not maximally active, such as
when one works overhead with raised arms, e.g. while fastening a screw
in the ceiling of a room. Static muscle work involves compression of the
blood vessels supplying the muscle by the tissues, restricting the blood
flow. This results in a decreased oxygen supply to the muscle and the
accumulation of waste products. Muscle pain and fatigue may then occur.
The greater the force exerted, the more rapid is the onset of muscle
fatigue. Static muscle work cannot be maintained for long periods of time.
Excessive static muscle work repeated frequently over long periods of
time can contribute to joint, ligament and tendon deterioration which may
appear as chronic joint degeneration and inflammation.
DMW involves a muscle alternately contracting and relaxing. For example,
engaging a variety of controls, turning a wheel, or pulling a light weight.
Dynamic muscle work, in contrast to static muscle work, enables a fresh
supply of blood and oxygen to reach the muscle tissues. The pump-action
of muscles contracting and relaxing also promotes the elimination of waste
products. Dynamic muscle work can be performed over a long period of
time without muscle fatigue occurring.
The body`s energy transport system during work

Blood supply and blood requirement of working muscles

dynamic static
at rest
muscular work muscular work

blood
blood blood blood blood blood
circu-
required required circulation required circulation
lation

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 8

The bodys energy transport system during work


see 8-9
Physical strength of human beings
Maximum of static applied force

The power developed in connection with the human body is called physical strength.
It can be separated in muscle,- inertia,- and applied forces:

Muscle force: operates through the activity of the muscles inside a body
Inertia force: reacts of the mass of a body through force of inertia
Applied force: Physical strength, that operates to the external of the body
Applied force
(affects the grip) Muscle power

Muscle momentum

Inertia force
(forearm)
Physical strength is determined through the following figures :
absolute value of force F in Newton [N],
position of the point of application of force in relation to the body,
direction of the line of influence in relation to the body as well as
direction of force (with and without gravity)
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 9

Muscle force is a physical strength that works through the activity of the
muscles within the body. There is a difference between static and dynamic
muscle force. Static muscle force is the physical strength that occurs
without a change in the length of the muscle during its activity. Dynamic
muscle force, however, occurs during the change in length of the muscle
in its activity.
Inertia force is a physical strength that works as a force of inertia, e.g.
dynamically as accelerating force, force of deceleration, or centrifugal
force at mobile workplaces, or statically as own weight.
Applied force is a physical strength that works outward from the body. It
results from inertia force, muscle force, or from both together. Inertia force
and muscle force can reduce or increase their strength depending on
amount and direction.
From the force-releasing body parts the applied force is split into e.g. arm,
hand, leg or finger force; from the force direction the applied force is split
into e.g. vertical or horizontal force.
The applied force is differentiated according to the force of attraction and
the force of pressure from the sense of direction of force.
Example for the determination of static applied forces

The term Isodynes describes lines of equal


maximum exerted force depending on the position
of the body and the effective length of the arm.
Different diagrams for points of application of force
or moments as well as several diagrams of sidewise
force [N] deflections are provided.

P3

P1,P2 a
Example:
The vertical force of the arm of a
male person with a horizontal angle
= 30, a vertical angle = 0 and a
range a = 50% applies a maximum
plan applied force of F = 150N.
e of
sym
metr
y
of th
e body
P1: proximal wrist
P3
P1,P2 P2: distal wrist
P3: shoulder joint

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 10

Example for the determination of static applied forces

The specifications of the figure applies to an upright free body posture with
parallel foot position at a foot distance of 30cm. The indicated values of
the maximum static applied forces were determined at stationary arranged
handles during short-time maximum force exertion of the working person.
A cylindrical handle with a diameter of 30 mm was used. The maximum
force is represented in the form of an isodynamic line. Pictures of the
different dependencies exist (e.g. single-handed vs. two-handed grip,
women vs. men)
Muscle exhaustion
Muscle exhaustion can occur
even when only 15% of the maximum force is applied in
static muscular work!

10

Holding period [min]


No exhaustion
6

ho
l d i ti g u
=f
ng e
4

a
li m
it
2

Increasing exhaustion 0

0 10 20 30 40 50
Static muscular work in % of the maximum force see W. Rohmert

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 11

The greater the holding force, the shorter the holding duration. If 15% of
the maximum force is used for the holding force, no fatigue occurs.
Depending on the load amount, i.e. the degree of exhaustion of the
maximum force, the maximum force still remaining after a certain work
duration continually decreases.
Example: If 25% of the maximum force is statically demanded, then the
force can only be maintained for approximately 4 minutes due to the
quickly occurring muscle fatigue; at 50% of the maximum force only 1
minute is possible.
cf. Luczak, H.: Arbeitswissenschaft (1998), p. 150
Principles of physiological work place design I

1. Principle: Design of the work flow with minimum exhaustion

Exponential characteristics of
the recovery process:

Recovery value
of the break

The maximum
recovery effect
occurs at the
beginning of the
resting period.

1/4

0 1/2 3/4 1
Design recommendation: Resting time
arrange short cyclical work and recreation phases
instead of long working and resting periods remark: 1 meter-kilopond [mkp] 9,8 Nm
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 12

Principles of physiological work place design I

The picture shows the behavior of the cardiac frequency during and after
work with short and longer breaks with steady proportion between work
phase and break. Because of the exponential character of the exhaustion
and recreation phases it is not functional to work until the occurrence of
exhaustion. There is a need for disproportionately long recreation phases. It
is physiologically more favorable to arrange short cyclical work and
recreation phases.
Principles of physiological work place design II

2. Principle: Choose the most efficient work procedure

example: loading of an
industrial furnace
The human energy
consumption can be
reduced significantly by
reducing the lifting height
when loading/ unloading
the furnace.
The physical work equals
zero in all three cases.
Concerning human work,
positive work is performed
when lifting a workpiece
and negative work is
performed when lowering
a workpiece.

Design recommendations:
use of the muscle groups allowing the maximum
development of force
optimal position of joints regarding the use of force
choice of a suitable working pace
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 13

Principles of physiological work place design II

An example for the choice of the working process with the highest efficiency
is the loading of an industrial furnace. During the loading of an industrial
furnace, the human energy demand can be lowered by reduction of the lifting
height. If the human work is regarded, a positively directed work has to be
performed while lifting and a negatively directed work while lowering the
workpiece. A reduction of the lifting height (see solution II) comes along with
a decrement of the metabolic rate and therefore with a lower strain of the
cardiac circulatory system. Simultaneously the shorter movement ways lead
to a considerable increase in efficiency (see solution III).
Principles of physiological work place design III

3. Principle: Avoid activities that impose repeated force on the internal structure

Example: Weight reducing spring suspension balance weight spring roll


suspension of tools
f-const.
f-const. m
suspension

small parts
storage Electromyographical analysis of m. biceps (electrical activity)

without weight reduction with balance weight with spring roll

assembling cell time

Design recommendations:
Minimize static muscle work
Optimize flow of forces
Avoid body fixations against gravity
Use of the gravity of body- and load weight
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 14
Load Handling
side view of the spinal column

intervertebral disc
vertebra

Skeletal muscles Skeleton

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 15
Back problems of German employees I

Questioned employees that suffered back Occupational diseases related to the


pain in the last 12 months: intervertebral discs

Occupational disease 2108: Illnesses of


the lumbar spine caused by years of
lifting and carrying of heavy loads or
operations in extremely forward-bent
posture for years.
Occupational disease 2109: illnesses of
the cervical spine caused by lifting and
carrying heavy loads on the shoulder for
years.
source: www.bkk.de, 2005

Costs due to back pain: Obligations of the employer:


5.1 million days in hospital
assessment of work places concerning
79.4 million sick days hazards
total costs: 16.8 -17.4 billion / year
take preventive measures
source: www.neuro24.de, 2003 EU-Guideline 90/269/EWG:

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 16
Back problems of German employees II

Diagnosed causes of back pain:


predominant answers in percent

tenseness

unfavorable body
posture
one-sided strain

bone abrasion

handling of heavy loads

overstrain

lateral distortion of the spine Question: Which causes


of your back pain did the
disc problems doctor identify?

Interviewees: Work
stress
persons that have visited
a doctor because of their
coldness/ draught
back pain in the last 12
months

Source: www.bkk.de
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 17
Preventive evaluation of spinal load

Specific attributes by loads on the spine:

In general, the possible force generated The strain of the spine and of the
by skeleton muscles exceeds the intervertebral disc cannot be felt directly
damage threshold of the spine.

Overloads are only recognized when damage occurs, normally after a long time of strain
(aches and pain; when the damage cannot be repaired through medical treatment)

Requirements for the prevention of overload

Evaluation of strain

Awareness of the admissible Awareness of the loads on the spine


load capacity of the spine during a given activity

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 18

Preventive evaluation of spinal load

The state of the spine can be evaluated by an X-ray analysis, yet by this
means only ex-post insights about the effect of strain that occurred in the
past can be determined. A spine overload only becomes obvious after
damage of the spine. It is therefore necessary to estimate the risks of
spine impairments preventively.
The spine as the key part of the human body

Reinforcing the effect of load on the spine by lever action

Model of a biomechanical process


(neglecting abdominal pressure and weight of body segments):

L1
(distance between
hand and spine) L2 M = 0 Fload L1 Fmuscle L2 = 0
L1
Fmuscle = Fload
L2

F = 0 Fload + Fmuscle Fint ervertebral disc = 0

Fint ervertebral disc = Fload + Fmuscle


Fload
Example:

Fload = 100 N ; L1 = 500 mm; L2 = 50 mm

Fint ervertebral disc = 1100 N


Fmuscle
F intervertebral disc Fmuscle = 1000 N

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 19

The spine as the key part of the human body

The spine consists of 24 osseous vortices, between which cartilaginous


intervertebral discs are situated. The intervertebral discs impart to the
spine their movability and elasticity.
During handling of loads, the spine is heavily stressed because of the
leverage effect of the external load and the resulting internal forces.
According to the position of the held load and the diffraction of the back
the elastic intervertebral discs get under enormous compressive stress
and are exposed to internal transverse forces. Dangers to health like
damage of intervertebral discs, deforming of vortices or ruptures of
muscular fibers can result. Damages to intervertebral fabrics are
irreversible
Biomechanical model based on spinal load

Overall force
on L5-S1
Compressive
force (Fint Disc C)

Vertebral disc Transverse


force (Fint Disc T)

L5-S1

i: body part
ai Gi: self weight of body part
ai: lever depending on body posture

Two-dimensional biomechanical model of symmetrical operations in relation to the center plane of


the body describing the procedure of calculating power and moments on an intermediate
vertebral disc of the lumbar spine here: the transition between lumbar and sacrum (L5-S1)

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 20

Biomechanical model based on spinal load

The body parts (i) above the lumbar sacrum transition L5-S1 themselves
each apply a moment around the point of reference for the calculation. The
lever arms (di) are independent of the position of the body and therefore
represent variables as a function of time during the execution of movements.
If there is not only a body movement executed, but also a manipulation of a
load, then there additionally occurs a restoring force (FA), that applies a
moment on L5-S1 over the lever arm dA and hence raises the stress. As
opposed to this, the abdominal pressure constitutes a certain help: Through
holding ones breath an abdominal pressure can be set up so that the
solidified abdomen builds a supporting force for chest and spine (FABD).
Besides to the moments, the forces take effect on the spine, it constitutes a
measure for the stress of the spine. On one hand the weight of the body
parts above the lumbar sacrum transition leads to a compression of the
intervertebral discs and transverse loads occur because of the ascent even
in upright body position. On the other hand additional forces are set up by
muscles, e.g. by the back muscles. These forces build up a counter torque
against the moments mentioned above.
Biomechanical model based on spinal load
Transverse Force FS

Compressive Force FD

n
M = FA a A + Gi ai PAbd aP FM aM = 0
i =1
n
F =FA , + Gi , PAbd , + FM , FD
i =1
n
F = FA , + Gi , PAbd , + FM , FS
i =1

aP n
n
FA a A + Gi ai PAbd a P r r
i =1
FD = FA , + Gi , PAbd , + cos ( FM ; FD )
ai i =1 am

FM
n
i body part n
FA a A + Gi ai PAbd aP r r
i =1
Gi self weight of body part FS = FA , + Gi , PAbd , + sin ( FM ; FD )
i =1 am
ai lever depending on body posture

FM
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 21

Biomechanical model based on spinal load

The body parts (i) above the lumbar sacrum transition L5-S1 themselves
each apply a moment around the point of reference for the calculation. The
lever arms (di) are independent of the position of the body and therefore
represent variables as a function of time during the execution of movements.
If there is not only a body movement executed, but also a manipulation of a
load, then there additionally occurs a restoring force (FA), that applies a
moment on L5-S1 over the lever arm dA and hence raises the stress. As
opposed to this, the abdominal pressure constitutes a certain help: Through
holding ones breath an abdominal pressure can be set up so that the
solidified abdomen builds a supporting force for chest and spine (FABD).
Besides to the moments, the forces take effect on the spine, it constitutes a
measure for the stress of the spine. On one hand the weight of the body
parts above the lumbar sacrum transition leads to a compression of the
intervertebral discs and transverse loads occur because of the ascent even
in upright body position. On the other hand additional forces are set up by
muscles, e.g. by the back muscles. These forces build up a counter torque
against the moments mentioned above.
Spinal loading: Inner transverse force during inflexion

The picture on the left demonstrates the


difference in surface pressure on the
intervertebral disc with slumped and straightened
back.

The elastic intervertebral disk between the


particular angles is, because of the small space,
Masse ~50kg exposed to extremely high pressure.

R= The inner transverse forces are greatly


300N/cm2
increased when the back is slumped.
R =145N/cm2

Risks:

Damaged intervertebral discs

Z D D D
Tearing of single muscle fibers or even bigger
parts of the muscle as a consequence of high
tensile strain

D = Pressure; Z = Tensile strain;


R = Surface pressure
Deformation of the vertebral disc

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 22

Spinal loading: Inner transverse force during inflexion

The mechanical effects inside the abdomen also have to be regarded. On


lifting heavy loads the air is held in the lungs by pressure breathing and is
highly compressed inside the body. A pressure like this is required for
stabilization of the trunk, but not without danger. Therefore it is highly
demanded to keep the body in an upright position on the lifting of heavy
loads. Only with an upright position is a consistent pressure of the
intervertebral disc reached. The spine should only be strained axially, in no
case eccentrically. For this case of strain, high surface pressures occur at
the margin of the intervertebral disc. With inflected spine and a lifted load of
~50kg the surface pressure affects the intervertebral discs inconsistently.
Additionally, the pressure strain at the right margin reaches values around
300 N/cm2 (R), while with straight stance only a surface pressure half as
strong results (Rohmert, 1983).
Forces on the spine as related to the actual position
of the body (dynamic model)
Force on L5-S1[kN] Force on L5-S1 [kN] Comparison of the strain exerted
on the intervertebral disc, while
Duration of force on lifting a 20 kg load with help of
the intervertebral disc the muscles of the back or the
L5-S1 muscles of the legs and
varying arm position.

Time [s] Time [s]

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 23

Forces on the spine as related to the actual position of the body


(dynamic model)

This illustration shows how the strains of the spine increase or decline with
variation of the masses of the lifted loads under otherwise equal conditions.
The pressure forces for the dynamic, two-handed lifting of loads with a mass
of 0 kg up to 50 kg are therefore illustrated in the figure. The overall duration
for the leverage operation was supposed to be 1.5 sec. With the 0-kg-graph
strikes that even in an upright body position the pressure forces are not zero,
this attributes to the weight of the body parts above L5-S1. With increasing
load, the curves get more peaked, resulting of the increasing influence of
movement-related shares because of the mass inertia of the load.
The figure on the right illustrates how the strain of the spine varies if a load is
lifted in different body positions.
Forces on the spine as related to the actual position
of the body (static model)

kN kN kN

10 10 10
Force on L5-S1[kN]

5 5 5
500 500 500
400 400 400
300 [N] 300 [N] 300 [N]
200 200 200
100 100 100
0 0 0

0 0 0

0 30 60 90 0 30 60 90 0 30 60 90

Rate of the Body Angle []

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 24

A weight of 10 kg held close to the body is equal to a load more than 10 times as
high while standing upright on the intervertebral discs in the lumbar vertebra
region, according to the law of levers in mechanics.
Even a load 6-7 times as heavy and carried on the head would not result in a
greater internal load. A load of only 10 kg already results in a 300 kg intervertebral
strain. Such a strain would only occur with a 230 kg heavy load directly on the
head.
Limits for loads causing compression of the spine

Limits for loads causing compression of the spine by lifting operations


carried out with both hands symmetric, consistent and frontal to the body.

Approach by NIOSH, 1981-1993 Approach by JGER, 1996


(National Institute for Occupational biomechanical consideration, recommended limits:
Safety and Health, USA)
Age Females Males
Risk consideration, recommended 20 years 4,4 kN 6,0 kN
limiting values: 3,8 kN 5,0 kN
30 years
40 years 3,2 kN 4,0 kN
The limiting value of
compressive forces 50 years 2,6 kN 3,0 kN
are numbers < 3,4 kN 2,0 kN 2,0 kN
> 60 years
(Requirement: age < 50 years)

Different limits of stress that take such influences


Global information based on the into account, are suggested by JGER. For certain
specifications by NIOSH does not
movements, e.g. bending to the side, torsion, etc. the
consider the demands imposed by
following reductions are taken into account:
different physiological conditions
(gender, age) and the kind of -10 % for side bending or at twisting for 15..30
movement. -15 % for twisting for 30..60
-25 % for twisting for 60..90
-25 % for sudden, jerky work movements

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 25

Limits for loads causing compression of the spine

The critical value given by NIOSH of 3400 N insufficiently accounts for the
different physiological width (age, gender, etc.). The limit hence applies
only to healthy persons below the age of 50. The limits suggested by
JGER differentiate between various age and gender groups. For older
people, the NIOSH-limits are already considered to be too high. In case of
ascent, torsions, sudden jerky movements or asymmetric loads the strain
on vortices and intervertebral discs increases. According to this, the listed
percentages are to be set against the denoted load limits. The denoted
values are the consequence of a biomechanical view, not the premise
Safety Guidelines.
Methods for assessing stress and strain

Methods for medical care according to occupational safety and health


rules (Screening Methods)
NIOSH approach
DIN EN 1005
Leitmerkmal-method
Mainz-Dortmunder Dosismodell MDD
Extended stress-strain examinations
Stress analysis
Subjective stress evaluation
Survey of medical complaints
Medical orthopedic examination
Methods for specific problems
Job analysis
Force measurement
Posture and motion analysis
Measurement of physiological parameters and occupational parameters

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 26

Methods for assessing stress and strain

Several methods for the assessment of stress and/ or strain of the


musculoskeletal-system during manual load handling have been developed
over the recent years.
The illustration shows different gradations of methods for different areas of
use that can be distinguished according to the level of detail of the
examination. These gradations allow the selection of methods for
approximate assessments, for extended examinations or methods for
specific problems depending on the field of application.
The NIOSH approach

Goal: risk assessment during load handling through calculation of a weight limit
(Recommended Weight Limit RWL)

Recommended Weight Limit RWL RWL = LC CM HM VM DM AM FM


The RWL is defined as the weight of LC = Load constant
load that almost all healthy workers can CM = Coupling multiplier
HM = Horizontal multiplier
handle over a specified period of time
VM = Vertical multiplier
without increased risk of back injuries. DM = Distance multiplier
AM = Asymmetry multiplier
FM = Frequency multiplier

Lifting Index - LI LI = L / RWL


The LI is a term that provides a relative
estimate of the level of physical stress
Values between zero and one are not
associated with a particular manual lifting
critical, LI-values exceeding one
task. It is defined by the quotient of the
indicate critical working conditions and
weight of the load lifted and the
exceeded danger of spinal damage.
recommended weight limit.

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 27

The NIOSH approach

The NIOSH approach was developed by the National Institute for


Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the USA as a method to
estimate the maximum permissible load (see exercise).
Calculation of the RWL according to NIOSH
Max. compression force
of the spine
0,5 min. Arbeit, 0,75 min. Pause (Gesamtarbeit 28.800 mkp)
Vp. Arbeitet 24 min. ohne Erschpfung

Coupling multiplier hand - load


Frequency of
lifting processes
LC
FM CM

angle between RWL


the asymmetry HM
AM
line and the
mid-sagittal
line DM VM Distance between
central point of the
hand and spine
Asymmetry plane Medial plane

AM
Asymmetry angle

Difference in height
Vertical distance between
the hands and the floor at
Masse ~5
beginning of lifting
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 28

Calculation of the RWL according to NIOSH

The NIOSH approach is based on the calculation of the Recommended


Weight Limit (RWL). The RWL is defined for a specific set of task conditions
as the load nearly all healthy workers can work with over a substantial period
of time (e.g., up to 8 hours) without an increased risk of developing lifting-
related lower back pain. The RWL is calculated by multiplying 6 influencing
factors and a so-called load constant (LC).
Leitmerkmal-method I
Goal: Assessment of working conditions concerning manual load handling using the
characteristics weight of the load, time duration, body posture and conditions. The
characteristics are rated with points so that the risk assessment value can be
calculated according to a simple mathematical algorithm.
1. Determination of the load weighting
weight for male weight for female load weighting
< 10 kg < 5 kg 1
10 to < 20 kg 5 to < 10 kg 2
20 to < 30 kg 10 to < 15 kg 4

30 to < 40 kg 15 to < 25 kg 7
>= 40 kg >= 25 kg 10

2. Determination of the time weighting


regular repetition of short lifting long-lasting carrying or holding time weighting
activities
< 10 times per shift total duration < 30 min 1
10 to < 40 times per shift total duration 30 min to < 1 hour 2
40 to < 200 times per shift total duration 1 hour to < 3 hours 4

200 to < 500 times per shift total duration 3 hours to < 5 hours 6
>= 500 times per shift total duration 30 min >= 5 hours 8
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 29

Leitmerkmal-method

The Leitmerkmal-method for the assessment of health risks is used for


assessment of working conditions concerning manual load handling
processes. It considers the characteristics weight of the load, body posture,
conditions during the activity and duration of the activity. The application of
the method is supported by work sheets that describe the different
characteristics using pictographs, descriptions and ratings. The different
characteristics are rated with points so that a risk assessment value can be
calculated using a simple mathematical algorithm.
Because of a approximate grouping of the values measurements can be
avoided. A classification of the actual working conditions is possible through
exact knowledge of the task.
Leitmerkmal-method II

3. Determination of the posture weighting

body posture, load position posture weighting


- upright upper body, no torsion
- load close to the body 1
- standing or walking short distances

- slight forward-bending or torsion of the upper


body 2
- load close to the body
- sitting, standing or walking longer distances

- bending down or strong forward-bending


- slight forward bending with simultaneous torsion
of the upper body 4
- load far from the body or above shoulder height
- sitting or standing

- strong forward bending with simultaneous torsion


of the upper body
- load far from the body 8
- restricted body fixation while standing, crouching
or kneeling

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 30
Leitmerkmal-method III

4. Determination of the conditions weighting


Conditions while executing the task cond.-weighting

good ergonomic conditions, e.g. sufficient space, even solid ground, sufficient lighting, good 0
gripping conditions
- limited space for moving (insufficient height, area less than 1,5m2) 1
- insufficient footing (uneven ground, soft, slippery, sloping)

5. Rating
Score = (load weighting + posture weighting + cond.-weighting) time weighting
Assessment of Score Description
risk
1 < 10 slight stress, health risk unlikely

2 10 < 25 Increased stress, overstressing is possible for persons with reduced stress
capacity. For these persons design measures should be taken.
3 25 < 50 Significantly increased stress, overstressing is possible for persons with
normal stress capacity. Design measures should be taken.
4 >= 50 High stress, overstressing is likely. Measures must urgently be taken.

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 31
Load handling guidelines

Personal measures /
work process design:
Example: Assembly work place
Handling the load close to the body;
Lifting by using the legs preferably keeping Considerations:
the back straight;
Trunk posture
Two-handed, symmetric handling;
head bending
Avoiding torsion;
posture of the arm
Smooth work movement.
angle of the elbow

Organisational measures:
Design options:
Extensive instructions, because lifting out of the
Work height
back appears more favourable and easier (as
demonstrated by energetic models) space for feet
Choice of suitable work-flow (distribution of stress), work area
Occupational check-up regarding the individual gripping space
reasonable demand. location
accessibility of displays
Technical measures: and operation elements
supply lifting aids
reduction of loads
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 32

Load handling guidelines

The safety guidelines for the handling of loads comprise regulations for safety and
health protection of employees who manually handle loads. Subsequently the
employer makes such organizational measures or uses adequate equipment
(mechanical gear etc.) to avoid a manual handling of loads by the worker. Is it
impossible to avoid manual handling of loads, the employer has to assure that the
work can be fulfilled safe and with minimal health hazard for the employees. This
implies an evaluation of the working conditions by the employer.
The most important rules during the lifting and putting down of loads (racked and
straight back, lifting out of the crouch, avoiding torsion) can be seen if one
watches a skilled weightlifter.
In connection with the lifting and carrying of loads, it is necessary to refer to the
stress-and-strain-concept once more. The term stress, in ordinary speech used
in a negative sense, is here of neutral value, only the resulting strain can be
considered as pathological or desired. A physiological structure, that has been
stressed within reasonable limits over a longer period of time is able to sustain
higher stress than an untrained structure (e.g. carrying of a load by removal man
vs. clerk)
Questions to examine your success in learning

9 Which types of physical work do you know?

9 How is static and dynamic muscular work differentiated?

9 How are the different kinds of muscular work related to muscle


exhaustion?

9 How should recreation phases be arranged during the work process in


order to reach an optimum effect of recovery?

9 Why is the spine especially endangered during physical work?

9 Which design principles concerning load handling should be considered


when designing work places?

9 Which variables influencing the stress of the spine does the calculation
of the recommended weight limit according to NIOSH consider?

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 33
Industrial Engineering,
Ergonomics & Work Organization
Exercise Unit 10
Production Ergonomics
Winter Semester 2006/2007

Univ.-Prof.
Dipl.-Ing.
Dr.-Ing.Dipl.-Wirt.Ing.
Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing.Snke
Christopher
Duckwitz
M. Schlick
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics
RWTH RWTH
AachenAachen
University
Bergdriesch 27 25
52062 Aachen
phone: 0241 80 99 440 461
email:
email:s.duckwitz@iaw.rwth-aachen.de
c.schlick@iaw.rwth-aachen.de

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University
The NIOSH Lifting Equation
vertical axis

RWL = LC CM HM VM DM AM FM

LC = constant x max. compression force of the spine

NIOSH:
LC = 6.76 kg/kN x 3.4 kN = 23 kg

horizontal axis

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 35
The NIOSH Lifting Equation
vertical axis

RWL = LC CM HM VM DM AM FM

Hand-to-object-coupling
(sharp-edged, grip, etc. )

Coupling V<75cm V>75cm

good 1 1
fair 0.95 1
bad 0.90 0.90

horizontal axis

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 36
The NIOSH Lifting Equation
vertical axis

RWL = LC CM HM VM DM AM FM

HM = 1 for H <= 25 cm
HM = 25/H for 25 cm < H <= 63 cm
HM = 0 for H > 63 cm

horizontal axis

horizontal location
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 37
The NIOSH Lifting Equation
vertical axis

RWL = LC CM HM VM DM AM FM

VM = 1 - (0.003 x (|V - 75|)) for V<= 175cm

VM = 0 for V > 175cm

vertical
V
location

horizontal axis

horizontal location
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 38
The NIOSH Lifting Equation
vertical axis

RWL = LC CM HM VM DM AM FM

D distance

DM = 1 for D <= 25 cm
DM = 0.82 + (4,5 / D) for 25cm < D <= 175cm
DM = 0 for D > 175cm
vertical
V
location

horizontal axis

horizontal location
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 39
The NIOSH Lifting Equation

RWL = LC CM HM VM DM AM FM

AM = (1 - 0.0032 x A) for A<= 135

AM = 0 for A > 135

asymmetry line mid-sagittal line

A
asymmetry angle Sagittal plane = each plane that is parallel to the medial plane

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 40
The NIOSH Lifting Equation
vertical axis

RWL = LC CM HM VM DM AM FM

Average number of lifts per minute


D distance over a 15 minute period

vertical
V FM depends on the number of lifts per
location
minute, the vertical distance and the
operating time. For numbers see tables.

horizontal axis

horizontal location
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 41
Load constant (LC) & Frequency multiplier (FM)
Load constant (LC) k = 6.76 [kg/kN]
LC = k x CF
CF = limit of load causing compression of the
The limits of loads causing compression of the spine [kN]
spine can be determined:
by NIOSH: 3.4 kN (Age < 50 years) or
by Jger (Table 2)
Frequency multiplier (FM)
V > 75 cm V < 75 cm
lifting rate per min
<= 0.2 0.95 0.95
0.5 0.92 0.92
1 0.88 0.88
2 0.84 0.84
3 0.79 0.79
... ... ...
Table 1: Values for FM

Age women men


20 years 4.4 kN 6.0 kN
30 years 3.8 kN 5.0 kN
40 years 3.2 kN 4.0 kN
50 years 2.6 kN 3.0 kN
> 60 years 2.0 kN 2.0 kN
Table 2: limit of load causing compression to the spine (by JGER 1996)
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 42
Exercise:Calculate the maximum work load
The work place shown in figure 1 is designed for visual package quality inspection. Each
package has an average weight of 8.7 kg and is conveyed on the lower shelf. A package that
requires significant control is placed on the upper shelf by the quality inspector. The frequent
lifting rate is one per two minutes. The hand-object coupling is fair.
The vertical distance between the ground and a package is 55 cm on the lower shelf and
123 cm on the upper shelf. The horizontal distance between the body axis of the quality
inspector and a package is 25 cm on the lower shelf and 50 cm on the upper shelf.
(a) Please use the NIOSH method to discuss whether there is a risk for work-pattern related
injuries or not. Further on please figure out if any restrictions concerning the age and the
gender of the worker can be given. Use the method of Jger to answer this question.
Explain your results and draw a conclusion.
(b) Please calculate the Lifting Index (LI) using the above given work pattern. Discuss your
result.

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 43
Work Place Design

V
Fill in the origin and destination
distances in the figure!

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 44
Solution Sheet 1

Determine the multipliers and compute the RWL- and Lifting-Index.

RWL = LC CM HM VM DM AM FM

Origin x x x x x x = kg

Destination x x x x x x = kg

LI = L / RWL
Origin LI =

Destination LI =
Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 45
Solution Sheet 2

Approach by JGER:

Determine LCkorr:

Origin LCkorr = kg

Destination LCkorr = kg

load causing compression of the spine in the unfavorable case: kN

Comparison with Table 2 (see 10-42) and conclusion:

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 46
Literature

Caffier, G.; Steinberg, U.; Liebers, F.: Praxisorientiertes Methodeninventar zur Belastungs- und
Beanspruchungsbeurteilung im Zusammenhang mit arbeitsbedingten Muskel-Skelett-Erkrankungen.
Schriftenreihe der Bundesanstalt fr Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin, Dortmund/ Berlin 1999.

Luczak: Arbeitswissenschaft. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 1998.

Luczak, Volpert [Hrsg.]: Handbuch Arbeitswissenschaft. Schffer-Poeschel, Stuttgart, 1997.

Reichel et al.: Grundlagen der Arbeitsmedizin. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, Berlin, 1985.

Rohmert; W.; Rutenfranz; J. [Hrsg.]: Praktische Arbeitsphysiologie. Georg Thieme, Stuttgart, 1983.

Jger, M.: Biomechanical aspects concerning the assessment of lumbar load during heavy work ans
uncomfortable postures with special emphasis to the justification of NIOSHs biomechanical criterion. In:
Schriftenreihe der Bundesanstalt fr Arbeitsmedizin: Problems and Progress in Assessing Physical Load
and Musculoskeleton Disorders. Tagungsbericht 10 Berlin 1996.

Jger, M.: Ermittlung der Belastung der Wirbelsule bei ausgewhlten beruflichen Ttigkeiten. HVBG,
Sankt Augustin, 1998.

Strasser, H.: Ergonomische Qualitt handgefhrter Arbeitsmittel - elektromyographische und subjektive


Beanspruchungsermittlung. Ergon, Stuttgart 2000.

Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University 10 - 47