Ergonomics Musculoskeletal disorders

NIOSH report offers tips on assessing worker posture

Washington – A recent report from NIOSH is intended to help safety professionals assess and improve worker posture and prevent musculoskeletal disorders.

The use of digital video, computer software, training and visual cues comprise the main components of the research-based approach advocated in the report. NIOSH’s recommendations for recording and analyzing worker posture include:

  • Encourage workers to avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing.
  • Record the task from more than one point of view.
  • If possible, make one of those views perpendicular to the plane of joint movement.
  • Zoom in so the joint of interest is as large as possible for the camera.

“Overexertion injuries to muscles, bones or joints cost U.S. businesses billions of dollars each year,” Brian Lowe, NIOSH author and research engineer, said in a press release. “This report can assist practitioners by providing research-based and practical recommendations to improve their practice of posture analysis of workers who are at risk of injury from lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, or manual handling.”

For the report, NIOSH partnered with the Canadian Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders.