The Bottom Line: Fatigue Failure and Cumulative Tissue Damage

Ergonomics Done Right®
The fatigue failure process is defined as the tendency of a structure (or tissue) to become damaged under cumulative stress or force. In this month’s edition, Research Director Blake McGowan, CPE, explains how musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) may be the result of this process. References: Gallagher S, & Schall MC Jr. (2017). Musculoskeletal disorders as a fatigue failure process: evidence, implications and research needs. Ergonomics. 2017 Feb;60(2):255-269; Gallagher S, Sesek RF, Schall MC Jr, & Huangfu R. (2017). Development and validation of an easy-to-use risk assessment tool for cumulative low back loading: The Lifting Fatigue Failure Tool (LiFFT). Appl Ergon. 2017 Sep;63:142-150.; Gallagher S, Schall MC Jr, Sesek RF, & Huangfu R. (2018). An Upper Extremity Risk Assessment Tool Based on Material Fatigue Failure Theory: The Distal Upper Extremity Tool (DUET). Hum Factors. 2018 Dec;60(8):1146-1162.