Are the threshold limit values (TLVS®) for lifting proposed by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists independent of gender and anthropometry?

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Zarzar, Muci Jose Chali
Jorgensen, Michael J.

Low back disorders remains the top musculoskeletal disorder across several industries, where lifting is commonly associated as a major risk factor in the workplace. Researchers have developed numerous assessment methods to identify high-risk jobs, where the ACGIH Lifting Threshold Limit Values (TLV) assessment method one of the most recent methods, providing guidelines to protect virtually any individual with a certain duration, frequency, and horizontal and vertical distance, protecting the individual from work-related shoulder and/or low back disorders associated with lifting. Several research voids were found for the ACGIH Lifting TLV method regarding gender, anthropometry, acquire versus placing an object, horizontal distance, and when the origin and final destination differs. A controlled experiment utilizing the probability of the Low Back Disorder (LBD) Risk using the Industrial Lumbar Motion Monitor (iLMM) was conducted to assess these voids. The experimental task consisted of lifting a box with handles from randomly selected locations of two vertical and four horizontal distances, to a fixed destination adjusted to each individual‟s waist height. Eighteen anthropometry-gender mixed subjects acquired and placed the box four times from each zone, with a complete interval of fifteen seconds each time. Results showed that essentially there is no significant difference among either gender or anthropometry raging within low- to medium- LBD Risk probabilities. In conclusion, the ACGIH lifting TLVs table for frequent lifting tasks appears to be appropriate to be applied regardless gender or anthropometry in the workplace environment with similar lifting conditions as described in the method. Also may be used to assess both origin and destination of the lifting task.

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Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.