Ergonomics the Guidelines Niosh Reasons for Development Term Paper

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Ergonomics

The guidelines

NIOSH

Reasons for development of NIOSH guidelines

Progress of the NIOSH guidelines

The parameters

Analysis for job on hand

When does the formula not apply?

Limitations of NIOSH Lifting Equation

At the outset it is important to know the efforts that are being made here. This is not an effort only to calculate the method of working that a person should follow in his working - there is also an attempt to review the methods of determining the limitations that should be placed. When the limitations are considered, there are different methods for deciding on the limitations, and talking more directly, there are three systems that are available. Only one of them is enforceable as a law, but that may not be what is best for the individual. One has to look at the welfare of the person who is doing the job and finding out a method through which both the worker and the employer may benefit. At the same time, this is not an act of mercy, but the decision has to be economical for the employer to continue his business. Otherwise both the employer and the employee will lose their economic viability. Thus a full discussion of the methods is required so that it is not felt that the decision taken is based on personal feelings and not on the correct position. At the same time, the decisions on these matters are still a little vague as there are a lot of concerned matters that should be studied so that one can come with a more definitive answer. Maybe what is required is a complete study of the problem at site and then a decision taken.

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Introduction:

There is no doubt that it is important for individuals to work for their livelihood and the oldest form of work is physical work. This has been done from the beginning of time by man. As the most advanced country of the world, America has to ensure that justice is done to those who perform physical work for their livelihood. The methods will be discussed now.

Analysis

1. The problem:

Term Paper on Ergonomics the Guidelines Niosh Reasons for Development Assignment

The person whose case is going to be discussed works at a company which is involved in getting products from a major manufacturer and then sending it on to other organizations for sales. In short he works at a wholesaler of consumer goods. The job that he is directly involved in is getting the material when it arrives in trucks, storing them at the appropriate place in the store for the item, and then loading it on the truck for sending it to the receiver. The job is essential since the material that comes from the manufacturer is in lots of one item, while the supply that is made up of different items. In simpler terms his job is lifting and lowering material.

2. The Guidelines:

Regarding this type of jobs, there are three applicable guidelines. These three are - a) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or NIOSH Lifting Equation of the year 1991 b) Proposed American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists or ACGIH Lifting Tables and c) Snook and Ciriello Psychophysical Tables as shown in Liberty Mutual Research, 1991. When these different guidelines are compared, there are more differences than similarities in them. The differences create a difficulty for the evaluation of these lifting and lowering activities, and thus the risks that are connected with the tasks are very difficult to determine. We shall study these in detail before deciding on our next step. (Faville; Shulenberger, 2004)

3. NIOSH:

For this type of an operation the applicable document is called the Applications Manual for the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation by Waters TR, Putz Anderson V and Garg A of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and health. This document was published in January 1994. The copy can be obtained from U.S. Department of Commerce. According to them the difficulties with regard to job are due to repetitive elements, due to force and also because of awkward levels of postures. The maximum amount of danger is to the lower back. And the difficulties result because of sorting of packages and proper handling of the packages, delivery of beverages, manual efforts during the process of lifting weights which are more than that of 10 lbs, use of force as it is being a productive type of a job. The effects could occur to any part of the body. The problems result because of his lifting more than 75 pounds and also due to lifting more than 55 pounds for over 10 times in a single day, over an amount of 25 pounds below the part of the knees and over an amount of 25 times a day which is at arm's length. He is also being involved in the process of push and pull with that of more than 20 pounds. This is considered as being equivalent as to push some 65 pounds weight box against a tiled floor, or trying to push a shopping cart which is being loaded with 200 pounds of weight. This job is being performed for over 2 hours in a single day. (Analysis Tools for Ergonomists)

What has to be noted here is that this model is based on biomechanical, physiological and epidemiological data. The entire analysis has some basic assumptions and these are that 1) Lifting and Lowering tasks have the same types risks for low back injuries as well and 2) The static friction between the worker and the floor surface is at least 0.4 or better coefficient of static friction due to the interaction of the shoe sole and the floor. It is clear that this does not take care of other factors that may arise from unpredictable conditions like very heavy loads, slipping or falling of the worker and also to consider other differences like lifting with only one hand, lifting while still being seated or kneeling, the entire exercise of lifting being carried out in a constrained or restricted work area, or lifting items which are wider than 30 inches. The other problem that has not been considered in these guidelines is of the sex of the worker. This means that the same weight limits are applicable for both male and female workers. (Faville; Shulenberger, 2004)

4. Reasons for development of NIOSH guidelines:

It had been recorded earlier that lower back pain and injuries were generally attributed to manual lifting activities. These are still the leading occupational health and safety issue facing preventive medicine. There have been many efforts to control this through different programs which had been directed at both workers and the job that they do, yet work related lower back injuries are still the cause for a large section of the suffering and loss to the country as a whole. The impact of this problem was summarized in a report in the Department of Labor, bureau of Labor Statistics in an article captioned "Back Injuries." This was published in 1982. The findings of the Department of Labor was in line with the existing worker's compensation data and that also states that "injuries to the back are one of the most common and most costly types of work-related injuries." This was reported by the National Safety Council in 1990. (Applications Manual for the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation)

According to the report made by DOL, back injuries are the reason for nearly 20% of all injuries that take place in the workplace, and result in nearly 25% of the annual workers compensation payments. This may be viewed as an old report, but a recent report, in 1990, by the National Safety Council noted that overexertion is the most significant reason for occupational injury, and accounts for 31% of all injuries. The back has been seen to be the body part most frequently injured and constituted as much as 22% of 1.7 million injuries that occur in a year. This leads to a situation where it is also the reason for the highest contributory factor for workers compensation systems. (Applications Manual for the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation)

5. Progress of the NIOSH guidelines:

The problem was recognized by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health more than ten years ago. This was viewed as a growing problem and published the Work Practices Guide for Manual Lifting. This report published in 1981 contained a summary of the literature published before 1981 regarding back injuries. It also published the analytical procedures and a lifting equation for developing a recommended weight for two-handed, symmetrical lifting tasks. This was clearly an approach for minimizing the chances of low back injury from manual lifting. This analysis was tied up to the Action Limit. This is a term that denotes the recommended weight found out from the lifting equation. Further progress was made in 1985, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health sought the opinion of others by convening an ad hoc committee of experts who reviewed the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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