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Appl Ergon. 2013 May;44(3):360-5. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2012.09.006. Epub 2012 Oct 12.

Efficient assessment of exposure to manual lifting using company data.

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Department of Public and Occupational Health, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Van der Boechorststraat 7, P.O. Box 7057, NL-1007 MB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The objective of this study, based on an extensive dataset on manual materials handling during scaffolding, was to explore whether routinely collected company data can be used to estimate exposure to manual lifting. The number of manual lifts of scaffold parts while constructing/dismantling scaffolds was well predicted by the number of scaffolders in the team and the type of worksite, in combination with company data of either the number of scaffold parts or the scaffold volume. The proportion of explained variance in the number of lifts ranged from 77% to 92%, depending on the variables in the model. Data on scaffold parts and scaffold volume can easily be obtained from the company's administration, since this is its usual paperwork supporting logistics and customer invoicing, respectively. We conclude that company data can be a promising source of information for ergonomic practitioners and researchers, to support assessment of manual lifting in scaffolding.

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