If ergonomics principles are ignored, stresses on the muscles, joints, and disks in the back can eventually lead to injury.
When ergonomics is applied at an industrial work area (e.g., workshops, labs, process areas), it is known as "Industrial Ergonomics." The same ergonomic risk factors are relevant and good work practices should be employed to minimize muscle tension and strain.
Manual Material Handling
Manual material handling involves lifting, lowering, and carrying objects. If ergonomics principles are ignored, stresses on the muscles, joints, and disks in the back can eventually lead to injury. For objects that are too heavy or bulky for safe manual handling by employees, mechanical lifting devices must be used for lifting and moving.
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Lifting Guidelines:
Lifting limits should also take into account the location of the load and the frequency of lifting. The following tables indicate situations in which loads should be less than 50 pounds.
Recommended Lifting Limits (in pounds) Tables 17(A), 17(B), and 17(C):
There are three tables, one for Low, Medium, or High-Frequency Lifting, that consider the horizontal (from the spine) and vertical (from the floor) location of the load. Their intersection yields the recommended limit for that type of lift. The three tables represent different frequencies and duration of exposure to lifting during the shift.
To choose a table, determine the duration of the task (<2hrs or >2 hrs/day) and the frequency of lifts per hour.