Awkward postures

You will need to make an assessment of posture for five body parts:

A similar two-step approach is used to assess the posture of each body part. With regular use of ART, it is likely you will become familiar with this approach and will not need to refer to the assessment guide as often.

Determine whether the body part is placed in an awkward posture when performing the task. If the posture is awkward, then determine the amount of time that the posture is awkward.

  • If the posture is not awkward, the colour is Green.
  • The colour is Amber if the posture is awkward for a part of the time (ie 15-30% of the cycle time).
  • The colour is Red if the posture is awkward for more than half the time (ie more than 50% of the cycle time).

It is possible to use intermediate scores if the factors you are assessing falls between two categories (eg if the posture is awkward for about 40% of the cycle time)

More tips are provided towards the bottom of this page to help assess worker posture.

The neck is considered to be bent or twisted if an obvious angle between the neck and back can be observed as a result of performing the task.

The head or neck is:

Head/neck posture diagram

C2. Back posture

The back posture is considered awkward if more than 20° of twisting or bending is observed.

The back is:

Back posture diagram

The left image shows about 20° of forward bending.

C3. Arm posture

The arm is considered to adopt an awkward posture if the elbow is raised to around chest height and the arm is unsupported (eg not resting on a workbench).

The elbow is:

Arm posture diagram

C4. Wrist posture

The wrist is considered to be bent or deviated if an obvious wrist angle can be observed.

The wrist is:

Wrist posture diagram

C5. Hand / finger grip

Identify any awkward pinch grip or wide finger grip used during the task. This factor can be scored Green if the task involves use of a power grip, or a loose grip that the workers does not consider awkward.

The hands or fingers hold objects in a:

Hand/finger grip diagram

This is a good time to ask the workers whether they feel any discomfort or cramping in the hands when gripping tools or work pieces.

Tips to help assess posture

  1. It is possible to select intermediate scores if the factor you are assessing falls between two categories (eg if a posture is awkward for about 40% of the time)
  2. If you find it difficult to decide whether a posture is awkward, there are several strategies you might find useful:
    • Make sure you view the task from several different viewpoints.
    • Ask workers to demonstrate the task in slow motion or pause at particular moments during the task.
    • Ask workers if they mind rolling up or removing any loose clothing that might obscure postures during the demonstration (provided it is safe, hygienic and appropriate to do so).

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Updated: 2021-10-11