Category: Ergonomics

Assessing Lifting Risk Factors Using Wearable Motion Sensors

A combination of work-related physical risk factors such as awkward postures or heavy lifting may lead to an increased risk of developing low back issues. Those in the occupational safety and health field continue to conduct research to prevent workplace musculoskeletal injuries. Researchers have used industry settings, self-reports and observational methods to evaluate these injuries. Read More >

Posted on by Menekse S. Barim, PhD, AEP, and Ming-Lun (Jack) Lu, PhD, CPE1 Comment

Low Back Pain among Workers: The Problem and What to Do About It

Are you a worker who is experiencing low back pain?  You aren’t alone! A recently published article from NIOSH reports that more than 1 in 4 (26%) working adults experience low back pain. Some groups of workers have more pain than others. For example, workers in construction occupations are more likely to experience low back Read More >

Posted on by Kristen Iker, MPH and CAPT Sara E. Luckhaupt, MD, MPH11 Comments

Vacuum Lifting System to Reduce Spinal Load During Airline Baggage Handling

Did you know NIOSH has tested a vacuum lifting assist system to reduce spinal strain during airline baggage handling? In collaboration with the Ohio State University, NIOSH published an article in Applied Ergonomics on the effectiveness of a vacuum lifting system in reducing spinal strain or loading during airline baggage handling. The study evaluated the Read More >

Posted on by Emily Warner, MA, and Jack Lu, PhD, CPE1 Comment

Musculoskeletal Health Research to Benefit Surface Stone, Sand, and Gravel Miners

In October 2017, the NIOSH Musculoskeletal Health Cross-Sector Program published the first blog post in a series to highlight musculoskeletal health research at NIOSH. This post—the fifth installment in the series—will discuss how best to promote musculoskeletal health and reduce the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among surface stone, sand, and gravel mine workers. As Read More >

Posted on by Emily Warner, MA; Jonisha Pollard, MS, CPE; Valerie Coughanour, MA, MFA; and Jack Lu, PhD, CPE10 Comments

Naomi Swanson, PhD: Advancing Worker Health Through Improved Organization of Work and Ergonomic Design

During Women’s History Month, NIOSH will highlight several female researchers and their contributions to NIOSH and America’s workers.   Naomi Swanson has served as the Chief of the Organizational Science and Human Factors Branch (OSHFB) in the NIOSH Division of Applied Research and Technology since May 2008. She received her M.A. in Experimental Psychology (specializing Read More >

Posted on by Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MA3 Comments

Musculoskeletal Health Research to Benefit Construction Workers

In October 2017 the NIOSH Musculoskeletal Health Cross-Sector program published the first blog in a series to highlight musculoskeletal health research at NIOSH. With spring just around the corner, this blog—the fourth installment in the series—will discuss how best to promote musculoskeletal health and reduce the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among construction workers. Construction Read More >

Posted on by Emily Warner, MA and Jack Lu, PhD, CPELeave a comment

Frequent Exertion and Frequent Standing Among US Workers

  Have you ever wondered if your job involves more standing, bending, or lifting than other jobs? Or if there are ways you could avoid injuries from these movements while on the job? Last week, NIOSH published an article on frequent exertion and frequent standing among US workers by industry and occupation group. Using data from Read More >

Posted on by Taylor M. Shockey, MPH 3 Comments

Musculoskeletal Health Research to Benefit Couriers, Messengers, and Baggage Handlers

In October 2017 the NIOSH Musculoskeletal Health Cross-Sector program published the first blog in a series to highlight musculoskeletal health research at NIOSH. With the holiday season coming to an end, this blog—the third installment in the series—will discuss how best to promote musculoskeletal health to reduce the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among baggage Read More >

Posted on by Emily Warner, MA and Jack Lu, PhD, CPE Leave a comment

Musculoskeletal Health Research to Benefit Temporary Retail Workers

In October 2017 we published the first blog in a series to highlight musculoskeletal health research at NIOSH. With the holiday season upon us, this next installment will take the opportunity to discuss how best to promote musculoskeletal health in retail establishments to reduce the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders among temporary retail workers. Temporary or Read More >

Posted on by Emily Warner, MA and Jack Lu, PhD, CPE 1 Comment

NLE Calc: A Mobile Application Based on the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation

Knowing how much weight an individual worker can safely lift is a key component to preventing back injury in the workplace. NIOSH recently released a free mobile lifting application, NLE Calc, which helps users determine safe lifting limits. The new NIOSH app takes information from the internationally renowned “Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation” out of the Read More >

Posted on by Emily Warner, MA, Stephen D. Hudock, PhD, CSP, and Jack Lu, PhD, CPE16 Comments

Reducing Whole Body Vibration to Improve the Safety and Health of Bus Drivers

On the road every day, transportation workers are responsible for the safe delivery of passengers, materials and goods across the United States. Bus drivers ensure our kids and family members arrive safely. Bus drivers are vital to our economy, but their job can put them at increased risk for health problems. In 2014, musculoskeletal disorders Read More >

Posted on by Peter W. Johnson, PhD, MS; Stephen D. Hudock, PhD, CSP; Thomas McDowell, PhD; and Elizabeth Dalsey, MA.11 Comments

Wearable Exoskeletons to Reduce Physical Load at Work

Robotic-like suits which provide powered assist and increase human strength may conjure thoughts of sci-fi and superhero film genres. But these wearable exoskeleton devices are now a reality and the market for their applications in the workplace is projected to increase significantly in the next five years.  As with any technologic innovation some of the Read More >

Posted on by Brian D. Lowe, PhD, CPE; Robert B. Dick, PhD, Captain USPHS (Ret.); Stephen Hudock, PhD, CSP; and Thomas Bobick, PhD, CSP, CPE 14 Comments

Ergonomics Climate Assessment

  Researchers from Colorado State University and the Colorado School of Public Health recently found workplaces that value employees’ safety and well-being as much as company productivity yield the greatest rewards. The study, “Ergonomics Climate Assessment: A measure of operational performance and employee well-being,” was recently published in the Applied Ergonomics journal.  The study describes Read More >

Posted on by Krista Hoffmeister, PhD, AEP; Alyssa Gibbons, Ph.D.; Natalie Schwatka, Ph.D., AEP; and John Rosecrance, PhD, CPE2 Comments

The NIOSH eDoc: New way to get NIOSH information on the Move

  The new NIOSH eDoc provides a mobile-friendly format for short NIOSH publications. This new publication product presents workplace safety and health information in a way that is accessible and easy to use on any mobile device, desktop, or laptop computer. NIOSH eDocs are created using Responsive Web Design which enables web content to automatically Read More >

Posted on by Deborah Hornback, MS and Christopher Storms11 Comments

Protecting Nail Salon Workers

Last week, the New York Times published a two-part series highlighting what it characterized as exploitative employment practices and unsafe working conditions for nail salon workers, including exposures to hazardous chemicals. On the heels of the reports, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on May 11 ordered emergency measures in the state “to prevent unlawful Read More >

Posted on by Cheryl Fairfield Estill, MS, PE5 Comments

High Prevalence of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome among Poultry Workers

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) of the upper extremities among poultry processing employees are well documented (Lipscomb et al. 2008; Cartwright et al. 2012). The combination of highly repetitive tasks, forceful movements and working in cold temperatures can increase risk for MSDs such as carpal tunnel syndrome, a disabling medical condition affecting the hands and wrists. In Read More >

Posted on by Jessica Ramsey, MS, CPE and Kristin Musolin, DO, MS10 Comments

Prolonged Standing at Work

  The National Retail Federation forecasts that retailers and merchants will hire between 730,000 and 790,000 seasonal workers this holiday season.[i] Many of these workers, such as sales associates and cashiers, have little, if any, opportunity to sit during their work shift. Increasingly, workers across a variety of occupations are required to stand for long periods Read More >

Posted on by Robert B. Dick, PhD20 Comments

Thanksgiving Ergonomics: Reducing material handling injuries with engineering controls

  If you haven’t purchased your 20 pound Thanksgiving turkey or your 10 pound bag of potatoes rest assured employees at your local grocery stores are busy restocking the shelves each day with your favorite Thanksgiving foods. It‘s hard enough lifting those items into your cart but what about the workers who haul those tons Read More >

Posted on by Vern Putz Anderson, PhD, CPE23 Comments

A Health and Safety Evaluation at an Airline Catering Facility

  The airline industry predicts that more than 24 million people will fly during the Thanksgiving holiday this year. If you are one of those passengers, chances are that you’ll have a snack or a soda on your way to your destination. Before reaching your seat, those snacks, beverages, and meals are prepared, assembled, and Read More >

Posted on by Jessica Ramsey,MS,CPE and Kristin Musolin,DO,MS9 Comments

Accurate and Efficient Assessments of Working Posture

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) account for roughly one-third of workplace illness and injuries in the United States. According to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, overexertion injuries, which include those from work-related lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing, cost U.S. businesses $14.2 billion in direct costs in 2013. To address the burden of preventable musculoskeletal and overexertion Read More >

Posted on by Brian D. Lowe, Ph.D.9 Comments