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Evaluation of push and pull forces and musculoskeletal symptoms among employees at an automobile manufacturer
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  • Description:
    "Employees at an automobile manufacturer requested a health hazard evaluation concerning ergonomics and musculoskeletal pain related to using a steel dolly to transport panoramic roofs from the dock to the assembly line. We visited the facility on three occasions to measure the minimum required push and pull forces to initiate movement of the steel dolly and a prototype aluminum dolly; observe work practices and procedures; and interview employees about their job tasks, concerns, medical history, and job rotation schedules. The push/pull forces for steel dollies were generally within the recommended guidelines. However, the forces may exceed recommended guidelines under certain working conditions. Dolly handhold locations were higher and wider than the recommended guideline and can cause awkward shoulder postures. The prototype aluminum dolly substantially reduced the push/pull forces. The work-related musculoskeletal pain reported by 52% of employees-most commonly in the shoulder and lower back-might be related to the ergonomic design characteristics of the steel dolly. However, psychosocial factors and other activities at work or outside of work may also contribute to work-related musculoskeletal pain. On average, employees reported a moderate level of job stress. We recommended the company (1) further improve the ergonomic design of the panoramic roof dolly by replacing steel dollies with aluminum dollies and providing handholds that meet guidelines, (2) require employees to use the provided air assist to help start movement of the dolly, (3) encourage employees to continue reporting work-related health and safety concerns to their supervisor and healthcare provider, and (4) improve communication between managers and employees regarding occupational safety and health issues and ways to reduce workplace stress among employees." - NIOSHTIC-2 NIOSHTC no. 20058053 Recommended Citation: NIOSH [2019]. Evaluation of push and pull forces and musculoskeletal symptoms among employees at an automobile manufacturer. By Ramsey JG, Hatcher S, Lowe B, Hayden M, Salar- Barim, M. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Health Hazard Evaluation Report 2019-0004-3363, https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2019-0004- 3363.pdf. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2019-0004-3363.pdf
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