343 Biomechanical and physiological parameters for manual material handling (mmh) risk assessment in maritime workers

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According to EU data, the fishing sector is the one with the highest injury rate of all other sectors. Aim of the study is to assess some MMH tasks in which it was possible to use the common standardised protocols in conditions where, although their restrictions, they could provide early indications.


NIOSH protocol was used to assess unloading crates of fish (weight of 12 Kg or 16 Kg) out of the boat to the van and while unloading crates, inside the boat, from the refrigerator to the slipway. Unloading crates from the boat to the van was studied also by means of 3DSSPP to estimate compression force at L4/L5 level. Heart rate monitors were used to estimate CCr while handling crates inside refrigerator.


Results obtained using the NIOSH protocol show LIs between 2.55 and 6.34 and a RWL between 2.52 Kg e 4.69 Kg. 3DSSPP analysis reported L4/L5 compression force ranging between 2752N and 3946N and low strength percent capability at wrist, shoulder, trunk and hip joints. Unloading crates from refrigerator to slipway analysis reported LIs ranging from 1.63 to 5.83 and a RWL ranging from 2.74 Kg to 7.36 Kg. MMH inside refrigerator showed CCr values of 40.5% and 42.7%.


During boarding, we observed several activities worthy of attention under the biomechanical overload point of view. We investigated the most strenuous tasks according to the crew’s information. All obtained values were largely over the limit for all used methods and are consistent with results from other studies. We observed MMH activities not assessable with any of the methods currently available in the literature because they cannot describe the tasks in their globality. It was also noted that the workers, based on their experience, have adopted enhancements reducing vertical displacement, asymmetry angle and adopting an internal organisation of rotation during MMH tasks.


This study has been accomplished with the support from UILA Pesc

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