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RR562 - Evaluating the feasibility of developing assessment charts for high risk pushing and pulling operations

This report outlines the work of the HSE Ergonomics Pool to better understand pushing and pulling forces that represent a high-risk of manual handling injury and begin the development of an assessment chart for high-risk pushing and pulling operations.

Psychophysical data were reviewed to develop a simple graph showing two hand whole body pushing and pulling forces that were indicative of a high risk of manual handling injury. A draft assessment chart was also produced for assessing pushing and pulling operations. The format of the chart followed the approach of the MAC tool, with a ‘traffic-light’ risk indication system. Risk factors such as initial force, frequency, travel distance and hand height were selected for inclusion on the basis of the ergonomics literature and the ergonomics approach for assessing pushing and pulling operations in the field.

Peer-review exercises were held to gather input from the Ergonomics Pool and guide further improvements that need to be taken forward before the assessment chart is suitable for user evaluation.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2010-03-19