A common question asked about material handling tasks is “How effective are mechanical or vacuum list assists at reducing low back disorders?” Certified ergonomist Blake McGowan shares the research findings on the impact of lift assists on reducing spinal loading in this month’s Bottom Line video.
The findings are:
- Spinal loads are reduced significantly, both statistically and biologically.
- Low back compression forces are reduced by approximately 39%.
- Compression forces are reduced below 3400N, the threshold level for spine damage.
- The spine shear forces are reduced by approximately 25%.
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References: Lu ML, Dufour JS, Weston EB, Marras WS. (2018). Effectiveness of a vacuum lifting system in reducing spinal load during airline baggage handling. Appl Ergon. 2018 Jul;70:247-252.
Photo source: Cynergy Ergonomics