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1.  The Effect of Lifting Speed on Cumulative and Peak Biomechanical Loading for Symmetric Lifting Tasks 
Safety and Health at Work  2013;4(2):105-110.
Background
To determine the influence of lifting speed and type on peak and cumulative back compressive force (BCF) and shoulder moment (SM) loads during symmetric lifting. Another aim of the study was to compare static and dynamic lifting models.
Methods
Ten male participants performed a floor-to-shoulder, floor-to-waist, and waist-to-shoulder lift at three different speeds [slow (0.34 m/s), medium (0.44 m/s), and fast (0.64 m/s)], and with two different loads [light (2.25 kg) and heavy (9 kg)]. Two-dimensional kinematics and kinetics were determined. A three-way repeated measures analysis of variance was used to calculate peak and cumulative loading of BCF and SM for light and heavy loads.
Results
Peak BCF was significantly different between slow and fast lifting speeds (p < 0.001), with a mean difference of 20% between fast and slow lifts. The cumulative loading of BCF and SM was significantly different between fast and slow lifting speeds (p < 0.001), with mean differences ≥80%.
Conclusion
Based on peak values, BCF is highest for fast speeds, but the BCF cumulative loading is highest for slow speeds, with the largest difference between fast and slow lifts. This may imply that a slow lifting speed is at least as hazardous as a fast lifting speed. It is important to consider the duration of lift when determining risks for back and shoulder injuries due to lifting and that peak values alone are likely not sufficient.
doi:10.1016/j.shaw.2013.04.001
PMCID: PMC3732145  PMID: 23961334
back; lifting; speed; shoulder
2.  Study protocol title: a prospective cohort study of low back pain 
Background
Few prospective cohort studies of workplace low back pain (LBP) with quantified job physical exposure have been performed. There are few prospective epidemiological studies for LBP occupational risk factors and reported data generally have few adjustments for many personal and psychosocial factors.
Methods/design
A multi-center prospective cohort study has been incepted to quantify risk factors for LBP and potentially develop improved methods for designing and analyzing jobs. Due to the subjectivity of LBP, six measures of LBP are captured: 1) any LBP, 2) LBP ≥ 5/10 pain rating, 3) LBP with medication use, 4) LBP with healthcare provider visits, 5) LBP necessitating modified work duties and 6) LBP with lost work time. Workers have thus far been enrolled from 30 different employment settings in 4 diverse US states and performed widely varying work. At baseline, workers undergo laptop-administered questionnaires, structured interviews, and two standardized physical examinations to ascertain demographics, medical history, psychosocial factors, hobbies and physical activities, and current musculoskeletal disorders. All workers’ jobs are individually measured for physical factors and are videotaped. Workers are followed monthly for the development of low back pain. Changes in jobs necessitate re-measure and re-videotaping of job physical factors. The lifetime cumulative incidence of low back pain will also include those with a past history of low back pain. Incident cases will exclude prevalent cases at baseline. Statistical methods planned include survival analyses and logistic regression.
Discussion
Data analysis of a prospective cohort study of low back pain is underway and has successfully enrolled over 800 workers to date.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-84
PMCID: PMC3599364  PMID: 23497211
Epidemiology; Ergonomics; Cohort; Low back pain; NIOSH lifting equation
3.  The WISTAH hand study: A prospective cohort study of distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders 
Background
Few prospective cohort studies of distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders have been performed. Past studies have provided somewhat conflicting evidence for occupational risk factors and have largely reported data without adjustments for many personal and psychosocial factors.
Methods/design
A multi-center prospective cohort study was incepted to quantify risk factors for distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders and potentially develop improved methods for analyzing jobs. Disorders to analyze included carpal tunnel syndrome, lateral epicondylalgia, medial epicondylalgia, trigger digit, deQuervain’s stenosing tenosynovitis and other tendinoses. Workers have thus far been enrolled from 17 different employment settings in 3 diverse US states and performed widely varying work. At baseline, workers undergo laptop administered questionnaires, structured interviews, two standardized physical examinations and nerve conduction studies to ascertain demographic, medical history, psychosocial factors and current musculoskeletal disorders. All workers’ jobs are individually measured for physical factors and are videotaped. Workers are followed monthly for the development of musculoskeletal disorders. Repeat nerve conduction studies are performed for those with symptoms of tingling and numbness in the prior six months. Changes in jobs necessitate re-measure and re-videotaping of job physical factors. Case definitions have been established. Point prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome is a combination of paraesthesias in at least two median nerve-served digits plus an abnormal nerve conduction study at baseline. The lifetime cumulative incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome will also include those with a past history of carpal tunnel syndrome. Incident cases will exclude those with either a past history or prevalent cases at baseline. Statistical methods planned include survival analyses and logistic regression.
Discussion
A prospective cohort study of distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders is underway and has successfully enrolled over 1,000 workers to date.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-90
PMCID: PMC3476983  PMID: 22672216
Epidemiology; Ergonomics; Cohort; Carpal tunnel syndrome; Strain index; TLV for HAL
4.  Prediction of Peak Back Compressive Forces as a Function of Lifting Speed and Compressive Forces at Lift Origin and Destination - A Pilot Study 
Safety and Health at Work  2011;2(3):236-242.
Objectives
To determine the feasibility of predicting static and dynamic peak back-compressive forces based on (1) static back compressive force values at the lift origin and destination and (2) lifting speed.
Methods
Ten male subjects performed symmetric mid-sagittal floor-to-shoulder, floor-to-waist, and waist-to-shoulder lifts at three different speeds (slow, medium, and fast), and with two different loads (light and heavy). Two-dimensional kinematics and kinetics were captured. Linear regression analyses were used to develop prediction equations, the amount of predictability, and significance for static and dynamic peak back-compressive forces based on a static origin and destination average (SODA) back-compressive force.
Results
Static and dynamic peak back-compressive forces were highly predicted by the SODA, with R2 values ranging from 0.830 to 0.947. Slopes were significantly different between slow and fast lifting speeds (p < 0.05) for the dynamic peak prediction equations. The slope of the regression line for static prediction was significantly greater than one with a significant positive intercept value.
Conclusion
SODA under-predict both static and dynamic peak back-compressive force values. Peak values are highly predictable and could be readily determined using back-compressive force assessments at the origin and destination of a lifting task. This could be valuable for enhancing job design and analysis in the workplace and for large-scale studies where a full analysis of each lifting task is not feasible.
doi:10.5491/SHAW.2011.2.3.236
PMCID: PMC3430905  PMID: 22953207
Lifting; Biomechanics; Linear models; Workplace; Risk assessment

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