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CWA 17938:2023

Guideline for introducing and implementing real-time instrumental-based tools for biomechanical risk assessment

General information

Valid from 15.11.2023
Base Documents
CWA 17938:2023
Directives or regulations

Standard history

This document defines a guideline for establishing and executing an instrumental-based approach for data collection regarding human load during the execution of MMH activities, both with and without HRC technologies support. The guideline describes all necessary requirements and procedures to be used for recording and monitoring data leading to a quantitative risk assessment. This document focuses on performing an assessment of the biomechanical risk in real-time. This is applicable for simple work activities such as lifting heavy loads, pushing and pulling, overhead work and repetitive movements and exertions of the upper limbs. Any task requiring the application of force by a person to lift, lower, push, pull, hold, or restrain something is referred to as a simple manual handling work activity. This document is not applicable to a real-time risk assessment for multiple work activities because a “post-processing” phase of the acquired signals is needed. Multiple work activities are defined as such when workers rotate between a series of slots, tasks or elements at set time intervals during the course of a work shift or when workers are involved in different types of activities (e.g. lifting, lowering, carrying, pushing, etc). Multiple work activities determine an additive effect of different tasks performed in an eight-hour day. As these approaches have a considerable technical and computational complexity in their structure, the document defines the materials and procedures to be used to perform a proper and simply real-time or off-line instrumental-based biomechanical risk assessment. The performed assessment represents only an estimation to show the potential of monitoring human loads by the developed approaches. This document gives guidance to perform a biomechanical risk assessment by the monitoring of occupational activities directly at the workplace in the real work environment. It does not apply to laboratory work in simulated settings, and it is applicable for direct evaluations and for rating standard methods for biomechanical risk assessment. The instrumental-based tools use a new generation of wearable sensors and machine learning algorithms to detect the biomechanical risk levels currently indicated by some of the methods listed within the ISO 11228 series, ISO 11226 and the technical report ISO/TR 12295 and the EN 1005 series. The performed assessment represents only an estimation to show the potential of monitoring human loads by the developed approaches. This document specifies limit values for assessing biomechanical risk which could be included in following standardization activities. This document can be applied by all individuals who work in the field of occupational health and safety, particularly those involved in the prevention of WMDs through proper biomechanical risk assessment, ergonomic intervention planning, and effectiveness evaluation. The guidelines in the document may be useful to and applied by professionals such as occupational health and safety technicians, ergonomists, and occupational physicians. In addition, it could be used by members of technical committees involved in writing and/or modifying ergonomic standards. This document does not define ethical and worker acceptance considerations.

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