Applications manual for the revised NIOSH lifting equation
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  • Alternative Title:
    RNLE;NIOSH Lifting Equation App: NLE Calc;
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    This 2021 manual is an updated version of the Applications Manual for the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation (RNLE) published in 1994. This update of the RNLE manual corrects typographical errors in the previous version and is reformatted to be searchable and 508 compliant. Specific changes are summarized on page xi.


    The essential contents of the RNLE have not changed. In this version, the graphics and tables have been improved and identified typographical errors have been corrected. The most notable typographical correction was to replace a recovery time factor of 1.2 which was used to determine the short duration lifting tasks (on pages 23 and 24 of the 1994 manual). The subsequently calculated recovery time on page 24 is corrected to 30 minutes from 36 minutes. The new recovery time factor of 1.0 and revised recovery time of 30 minutes are now used throughout the new version. In the 1994 version, the terms asymmetric angle and asymmetry angle were used interchangeably. In this version asymmetry angle is used for consistency. The “Decision Tree for Coupling Quality” (page 32 of the 1994 manual) is revised for improving the visual relationships between the classifiers. Other editorial changes include consistency in capitalization, abbreviations and correct word tense. Pagination has changed in the new text and therefore page references in the original text have been removed. Except for the above-mentioned correction factor, the formulas, multipliers and limitations provided in this updated manual are identical to those in the 1994 manual. Finally, alternative text for all figures and equations have been added in compliance of Section 508.

    Suggested citation: NIOSH [1994]. Applications manual for the revised NIOSH lifting equation. By Waters TR, Ph.D., Putz–Anderson V, Ph.D., Garg A, Ph.D. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health

    and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 94-110 (Revised 9/2021),


    NIOSH Lifting Equation App: NLE Calc : The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Lifting Equation mobile application, NLE Calc, is a tool to calculate the overall risk index for single and multiple manual lifting tasks. This application provides risk estimates to help evaluate lifting tasks and reduce the incidence of low back injuries in workers.

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