Development of a NIOSH based software tool for musculoskeletal disorders
Musculoskeletal disorders amongst workers performing manual lifting tasks have become a major challenge now a days. Such problems hamper productivity of any concern to a greater extent. Industrial experts and researchers have been devising ways and means to reduce such disorders and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) agency lifting equation is one amongst such tools. NIOSH lifting equation has significantly enhanced the safety of the workers involved in manual lifting tasks. With this equation, a prior indication of musculoskeletal disorders can be obtained from the workers anthropometric details. However, till date there is no such tool available with which we can have recommendations to eliminate/reduce such disorders. In this paper an expert system on the basis of NIOSH equation has been developed to deal with the musculoskeletal problems amongst the workers involved in manual lifting tasks. The expert system is basically a computer programme developed to facilitate the use of NIOSH lifting equation. On the basis of lifting parameters, this equation computes recommended weight limit (RWL) and lifting index (LI). These outputs have been further analyzed by the programe to check existing working conditions against occupational hazards, and suggest recommendations for the safe working conditions.
NIOSH, Recommended weight limit, Lifting index, Manual lifitng, Programme
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