Evaluation of low back pain risks in a beef skinning operation

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Abstract

The low back pain risks in a beef skinning operation at a high stand kill floor workstation was evaluated. The increases in compressive forces at lower back (L5/S1) between normal slump (back angle 25°, measured in the sagittal plane) and severe (45°) and between normal slump and very severe (70°) bent back postures were 387 N or 28% and 616 N or 45%, respectively. The high spine load coupled with high level of repetition can have a high probability of fatigue failure in the spine structural members. Non-neutral back posture for a large portion of the total work time can be a low back pain risk factor. The videotape analysis showed that the times involved during the task performance for the bent back (more than 25°) and severe bent back (more than 45°) were 48.4 and 33.5% of the total cycle time, respectively. The upper limit from OWAS (Ovako Working Posture Analysis System) for bent back posture is 30% of the total cycle time. The bent and twisted back posture (both more than 25°) time was 10.4% compared to OWAS limit of 5%. This indicated that actions are needed in the near future to alleviate the risk of low back pain. Ergonomics redesign of the workstation was recommended for the operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-361
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Keywords

  • Biomechanical analysis
  • Ergonomics analysis posture analysis
  • Low back pain
  • Meat processing

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