1631e Update on german risk assessment tools for upper limb msds

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In Germany, several tools for the risk assessment of physical workload are available for different applications. Besides different screening methods, there are technical systems that can be used in the field and/or laboratory. The focus of the work of the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA) is located on the risk assessment of physical workload using technical measurements (CUELA1). By providing assessment procedures for different body regions, an important gap in the prevention of work-related MSDs is to be closed here. Regarding risk assessment for upper limb MSDs, the IFA develops procedures for evaluating workload on the wrist, elbow and shoulder. To newly develop an assessment procedure for the elbow load a systematic review was carried out, for instance. The activities for assessing the shoulder load are also part of the PEROSH joint research project ‘PEROSH recommendations for procedures to measure occupational physical activity and workload’ having one focus on the assessment of upper arm elevation at work with technical systems.2 Within the framework of a joint project of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) and the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) (MEGAPHYS – multilevel risk assessment of physical workload) it is intended to use the IFA assessment procedures for about 120 workplaces where the physical workload was measured by CUELA. The workload data is for example to be correlated with subjectively perceived strain and complaint data from questionnaires, interviews and physical examinations collected from about 1000 employees.

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