What you need to know before you use the V-MAC

To use the V-MAC you need to:

  • Be familiar with the MAC;
  • Use the V-MAC graph alongside the MAC;
  • Find out the weights of each load the worker handled during a shift;
  • Find out the average distances loads are carried (if at all).

Downloading the V-MAC workbook

You can download the V-MAC workbook from here. Your computer needs to be able to use files created with Microsoft Excel 2003 or later.

Colour bands

The V-MAC uses exactly the same colour bands as the MAC.

What about different length shifts?

You can use the V-MAC for shift lengths between 4 and 12 hours. It takes account of allowances for breaks within a work shift.

It can't deal with shifts longer than 12 hours. If you have a shift system with longer shifts you should do a detailed risk assessment instead of using the V-MAC.

Some definitions

Here is what we mean by some key terms:

Picking up a load and putting it down again somewhere within 2 m of the start position.
An item a worker picks up in the workplace.
Picking up a load, walking a distance of at least 2 m while holding it in the arms, and putting it down again.
Carry distance
Where a task involves carrying many loads for different distances, the carry distance is the distance to the half-way point between the shortest carry and the longest carry.
Shift length
The total time somebody is expected to be in the workplace on a working day, including meal breaks and other rest breaks.

See also

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Updated: 2021-01-26