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New app from NIOSH: Lifting Equation Calculator

NIOSH Safe Lifting App
Photo: NIOSH/iTunes

Washington – In an effort to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders, NIOSH has released a mobile app based on the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation, an internationally recognized standard for safe manual lifting.

Users of the free NIOSH Lifting Equation app, or NLE Calc, enter information about the lifting task at hand and then receive feedback on optimizing the lift – such as bringing the load closer to the body and avoid twisting while lifting – or suggestions for alternative methods.

Work-related MSDs account for one-third of occupational injuries that result in missed work and between $45 billion and $54 billion in lost productivity and treatment costs, according to estimates by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine.

NLE Calc is intended to assist employers and workers by:

  • Calculating the composite lifting index – the ratio of the load lifted to the recommended weight limit – for multiple lifting tasks
  • Using equations approved by NIOSH ergonomists, who were the original creators of the NIOSH Lifting Equation
  • Promoting better musculoskeletal health and prevention benefits
  • Improving awareness about job tasks
  • Making informed decisions about the potential hazards to workers’ musculoskeletal health
  • Designing job guidelines for manual lifting tasks
  • Collecting manual lifting data

“NLE Calc is a quick and simple way for a worker to assess [his or her] risk for injury before [having to] manually lift an object,” NIOSH Director John Howard said in an Aug. 14 press release. “The information workers used to find in a manual is now in their back pocket and can help prevent one of the most common and costly work-related injuries.”

The app is available for download on Apple and Android devices.

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