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**NIOSH Lifting Equation submitted by William A. Groves**

C.6.b

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Introduction NIOSH first developed a lifting equation in 1981 to aid in evaluating lifting demands Original equation was widely used by occupational health practitioners since it provided an empirical method for estimating a weight limit for different manual lifting tasks Useful for identifying lifting tasks that posed a risk for developing low back pain Limited to sagittal plane lifting tasks – no asymmetry or rotation out of longitudinal plane

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Introduction A revised lifting equation was developed and initially presented in 1991 Documentation and an application manual were subsequently developed and released in Based on more recent research Provided methods for evaluating asymmetrical lifting tasks, and lifts of objects with less than optimal coupling between object and worker’s hands

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Introduction NIOSH Lifting Equation represents only one tool in a comprehensive effort to prevent work-related low back pain and disability Lifting is only one of the causes of low back pain Psychosocial factors, medical treatment, and job demands can also play an important role

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**Criteria Used in Developing Equation**

Physiological limit energy expenditure (3.5 Kcal/min) Biomechanical limit compression on L5/S1 disc (770 lb) Psychophysical 75% of female population capable of lift Epidemiological consider risk to “fit” and “susceptible” populations

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**NIOSH Lifting Equation Limitations**

Does NOT apply to: Lifting/lowering with one hand Lifting/lowering for over 8 hrs Lifting/lowering while seated or kneeling Lifting/lowering in a restricted work space Lifting/lowering unstable object Lifting/lowering while carrying, pushing, or pulling

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**NIOSH Lifting Equation Limitations (cont)**

Does NOT apply to: Lifting/lowering with wheelbarrows or shovels Lifting/lowering with high speed motion (faster than 30 in./sec) Lifting/lowering with poor foot/floor coupling (< 0.4 coefficient of friction) Lifting/lowering in an unfavorable environment (high or low temperature / humidity)

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**Required Input Load weight Horizontal distance from load to low back**

Vertical location of load at beginning and end of lift Degrees from midline where load is located at beginning and end of lift Frequency of lifting in lifts per minute The duration of the task The quality of any handles or hand-holds

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**Revised Lifting Equation**

The revised equation for calculating the recommended weight limit (RWL) is a multiplicative model that incorporates weighting factors (multipliers) corresponding to six task variables: RWL = LC x (HM x VM x DM x AM x FM x CM) Load Constant Weighting Factors (maximum weight for ideal lift)

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**NIOSH Equation Multipliers**

1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6)

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Task Variables

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Task Variables

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Frequency Multiplier

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Coupling Multiplier

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**Coupling Multiplier Decision Tree**

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Procedure Measure horizontal distance (H1) and vertical distance (V1) at the origin of lift Estimate asymmetry at origin (A1) Measure horizontal distance (H2) and vertical distance (V2) at the destination of lift Estimate asymmetry at destination (A2) Select hand-hold category (good, fair, or poor) Count the number of lifts in a given time frame, and convert to lifts per minute Select the duration of the task: 1 hr, 2 hr, or 8 hr

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**Multipliers < 1.0 indicate non-optimal conditions for that task variable**

Table 8 outlines design strategies for each task variable to improve the lift geometry (adjust multiplier toward value of 1.0)

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Lifting Index (LI)

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Example Problem 1

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Example Problem 1

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Example 1

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Example 1

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**Review Questions (Answers on the next slide)**

1. The maximum load that should be lifted according to the revised NIOSH equation is ? a. 23 lbs b. 43 lbs c. 37 lbs d. 51 lbs 2. The maximum value for any of the six task multipliers is ? a. 100 b. 1 c. -1 d. 10 3. Which of the following design techniques would not be used to decrease the lifting index (LI) ? a. increase lift frequency b. reduce lift duration c. bring load closer to worker d. reduce vertical distance between origin and destination 4. The coupling type for an optimally sized container, with non-optimal handles, that allow for 90o finger flex would be ? a. optimal b. good c. fair d. poor

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**Answers to the Review Questions**

1. The maximum load that should be lifted according to the revised NIOSH equation is ? d. 51 lbs 2. The maximum value for the six task multipliers is ? b. 1 3. Which of the following design techniques would not be used to decrease the lifting index (LI) ? a. increase lift frequency 4. The coupling type for an optimally sized container, with non-optimal handles, that allow for 90o finger flex would be ? c. fair

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References Applications Manual for the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation; T.R. Waters, V. Putz-Anderson, and A. Garg, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No Waters, T.R.; Putz-Anderson, V.; Garg, A.; and Fine, L.J. Revised NIOSH Equation for the Design and Evaluation of Manual Lifting Tasks, Ergonomics, 1993, Vol 36(7),

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