The effect of ergonomic intervention in reducing musculoskeletal disorders by Snook table method in a steel industry

Authors

1 Department of Occupational Health, School of Health AND Kurdistan Environmental Health Research Center, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran

2 Qorveh Public Health Center, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Qorveh, Iran

Abstract

The most frequent and expensive cause category of compensable loss is manual material handling (MMH). Casting workers who handle oxygen (O2) cylinders manually are at risk for work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). The aim of this study was to assess manual handling of O2 cylinders by casting workers and to implement ergonomic intervention to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). This interventional study was conducted on 30 male workers of casting unit in a steel industry. Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire was used to determine the prevalence of MSDs in workers. Snook tables and its software were used to assess manual handling risk of O2 cylinders. Manual handling of O2 cylinders was totally excluded using the box with 16 cylinders that can be moved by crane. The most common MSDs in 1 year prior to the study were low back pain (43%), shoulders (33%), and hand/wrist and knee disorders (16%), respectively. The Snook tables’ results indicated that 86% of lifting/lowering, 100% of carrying, and 50% of pulling tasks were appropriate for <10% of casting workers. About 94% of O2 cylinders pushing were appropriate for 17% casting workers. With the implementation of ergonomic intervention, the risk of WMSDs and explosion of cylinders was decreased, and safety of workers was improved.

Keywords


Li KW, Yu RF, Han XL. Physiological and psychophysical responses in handling maximum acceptable weights under different footwear--floor friction conditions. Appl Ergon 2007; 38(3): 259-65.
Way Li K, Yu RF, Gao Y, Maikala RV, Tsai HH. Physiological and perceptual responses in male Chinese workers performing combined manual materials handling tasks. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 2009; 39(2): 422-7.
Sadeghi Naeeni H. Ergonomic principles in the design of transport systems for handheld products. Tehran, Iran: Fanavaran Publication; 2009. [In Persian].
Abdoliermeki M. Body mechanics and principles of work station design. Tehran, Iran: Omid Majd Publication; 2000. [In Persian].
Division of Workers' Compensation. Manual Material Handling an Ergonomic Approach. Texas, TX: The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation; 2004.
Ciriello VM, Dempsey PG, Maikala RV, O'Brien NV. Revisited: Comparison of two techniques to establish maximum acceptable forces of dynamic pushing for male industrial workers. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 2007; 37(11-12): 877-82.
Industrial Accident Prevention Association. Manual Materials Handling. Mississauga, Ontario: IAPA; 2008.
Dempsey PG, Maynard W. Manual Materials Handling: Using the Liberty Mutual Tables to Evaluate These Tasks. Professional Safety 2005; 50(5): 20-5.
NIOSH. Ergonomic Guidelines for Manual Material Handling the California Department of Industrial Relations [Online]. [cited 2007]; Available from: URL:
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/dosh_publications/mmh.pdf
Ciriello VM. The effects of box size, vertical distance, and height on lowering tasks. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 2001; 28(2): 61-7.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Work practices guide for manual load lifting. Cincinnati, OH: NIOSH; 1981.
Tiwari PS, Gite LP, Majumder J, Pharade SC, Singh VV. Push/pull strength of agricultural workers in central India. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 2010; 40(1): 1-7.
Snook SH. Psychophysical Tables: Lifting, Lowering, Pushing, Pulling, and Carrying. In: Stanton NA, Hedge A, Brookhuis K, Salas E, Hendrick HW, Editors. Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics Methods. New York, NY: CRC Press; 2004. p. 128-50.
Ciriello VM, Snook SH. Survey of manual handling tasks. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 1999; 23: 149-56.
Ciriello VM. The effects of box size, frequency and extended horizontal reach on maximum acceptable weights of lifting. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 2003; 32(2): 115-20.
Ciriello VM. The effects of box size, vertical distance, and height on lowering tasks for female industrial workers. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 2005; 35(9): 857-63.
Ciriello VM. The effects of container size, frequency and extended horizontal reach on maximum acceptable weights of lifting for female industrial workers. Appl Ergon 2007; 38(1): 1-5.
Ciriello VM, Snook SH. A study of size, distance, height, and frequency effects on manual handling tasks. The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 1983; 25(5): 473-83.
Gallagher S, Kotowski S, Davis KG, Mark C, Compton CS, Huston RL, et al. External L5-S1 Joint Moments When Lifting Wire Mesh Screen Used to Prevent Rock Falls in Underground Mines. Int J Ind Ergon 2009; 39(5): 828-34.
Kuorinka I, Jonsson B, Kilbom A, Vinterberg H, Biering-Sorensen F, Andersson G, et al. Standardised Nordic questionnaires for the analysis of musculoskeletal symptoms. Appl Ergon 1987; 18(3): 233-7.
Armstrong TJ, Marshall MM, Martin BJ, Foulke JA, Grieshaber DC, Malone G. Exposure To forceful exertions and vibration in a foundry. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 2002; 30(3): 163-79.
Faghih M, Motamedzadeh M, Mohammadi H, Habibi Mohraz M, Bayat H, Arassi M, et al. Assessment of Manual Material Handling by Snook tables in Hamadan casting manufactories. Iran Occup Health 2013; 10(1): 60-9. [In Persian].