Risk Assessment and Management of Repetitive Movements and Exertions of Upper Limbs

Job Analysis, Ocra Risk Indicies, Prevention Strategies and Design Principles


  • Daniela Colombini

In industrialised countries, musculo-skeletrical disorders of the upper limbs represent one of the commonest work-related diseases. All working activities habitually requiring repetitive upper limb movements and exertions represent a potential risk for these disorders under certain conditions.

This practical manual provides a clear and detailed solution to the problem of assessing and consequently managing these risks in conformity with European Union legislation covering the safety and protection of workers' health. The book contains many tables, diagrams and schedules, enhancing its practical value. The methods it proposes for analyzing and designing or redesigning jobs and tasks do not require sophisticated equipment and are largely based on situations encountered in large manufacturing factories.

Since risk analysis also concerns how jobs and tasks are organized, many concepts and terms are defined that prevention experts can share with those responsible for planning and organizing manufacturing activities on the shop floor.

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Book information

  • Published: April 2002
  • Imprint: ELSEVIER
  • ISBN: 978-0-08-044080-4

Table of Contents

An introduction to ergonomics and the aim of this handbook. Musculoskeletal diseases due to biomechanical overload. Establishing the presence of risk and the subsequent means of intervention. The general model of exposure analysis: relevant definitions and their interaction with job analysis using the methods-time measurement (MTM) system. Work organization analysis: task analysis, cycle time and rest periods. Analysis of repetitiveness and frequency of action. Analysis and quantification of force using the Borg Scale. Analysis and evaluation of working postures. Definition and quantification of additional risk factors. Analysis and evaluation of recovery periods. Proposed concise index for the assessment of exposure to repetitive movements of the upper limbs (OCRA Index). A check-list model for the quick evaluation of risk exposure (OCRA Index). European technical standards in the ergonomics. Guidelines for designing jobs featuring repetitive tasks. A longitudinal study of workers with WMSDs after returning to a redesigned workstation: criteria for the return of workers to the workforce.