While performing your PROACTIVE TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis, you observe a person loading a pallet with 10′ L x 6″ dia. 30 pound metal pipes by himself. He lifts 30 pipes an hour 3 times a day from a rack waist high to a pallet placed on timbers floor level. This task used to be performed by two loaders before recent lay offs, so you go to the Root Cause category of Excessive Lifting and see these two questions in the Root Cause Tree Dictionary:

* Was the issue related to excessive lifting or force to move an object?

* Did the task require repetitive motion (lifting, twisting, bending, etc.) that lead to a musculoskeletal problem?

Since this is a Proactive Assessment there are no issues yet, so you are asking what is the worst issue that could occur by the lifting movements above? Now what does excessive mean? What would excessive lifting, twisting and bending be? We could bring in an external Ergonomic Expert… or can we use a simple calculation ourselves first?

A simple calculator: http://www2.worksafebc.com/calculator/llc/liftlower/Default.htm

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A little more technical: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/electricalcontractors/additionalreferences.html

NIOSH 1991 Lifting Calculator. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 208 KB ZIP*.

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As you start doing these calculations, you should also see another Root Cause under Human Engineering start becoming very apparent: Arrangement / placement.

A question that comes to mind from the Root Cause Dictionary is:

* Did poor arrangement, placement, or situation of equipment, displays, or controls contribute to an issue?

So with these new found calculators and a better understanding of just a little bit of the Root Cause Tree Dictionary is this task a risk or not:

” You observe a person loading a pallet with 10′ L x 6″ dia. 30 pound metal pipes by himself. This task used to be performed by two loaders before recent lay offs.”

Post your response!