Example of good EU practice
Occupational risk assessment for manual handling of loads
Key indicator method - LMM
During manual handling of heavy objects (their lifting, holding, moving and setting down), there is a risk of injuries to, or disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the lumbar spine. In order to assess the said risk and undertake preventative measures, in Germany thekey indicator method (LMM) was developed and implemented into everyday practice a few years ago. (This method, used in the assessment of manual pulling and pushing of loads was presented in “Labour Inspector” no. 9/2005). Owing to its advantages – universal nature, ease of application and the positive results achieved – it has become popular not only in German enterprises. It is, therefore,worthwhile to present it to Polish employers too. While using this method in Polish conditions, one has to conform to the norms and limitations (bans) specified in the following ordinances: • of Minister of Labour and Social Policy of 14 March 2000 on occupational safety and health during manual transportation work (Journal of Laws No. 26, item 313 with amendments), • of the Council of Ministers of 10September 1996 on the list of types of work particularly arduous or hazardous to women’s health (Journal of Laws No. 114, item 545 with amendments), • of the Council of Ministers of 24 August 2004 on the list of types of work forbidden to juvenile workers and the conditions of engaging juveniles in some of them (Journal of Laws No. 200, item 2047). The key indicator method (LMM) used in theassessment of occupational risk during manual handling of loads consists in specifying the weight (an indicator expressed in points) of four different factors (parameters) of physical stress which occur during manual handling tasks, i.e.: • time, • load (mass), • body posture, • conditions of performing work – on the basis of which rating is calculated, which allows to classify a particular task into oneof four risk categories (levels). This method serves to make a rough assessment of the working conditions during handling of loads. While specifying (assessing, rating) the weight of each factor, one should have relevant knowledge on the assessed individual activity. If such knowledge is lacking, an analysis of individual activities should be made because suppositions usually lead to falseresults. However, no detailed knowledge of ergonomics or technical safety is required. The rating is made for individual component activities and in relation to one working day. If during work there are changes in the mass of loads and/or in body posture – then average values should be applied. On the other hand, if during one complete task a worker performs a great many single activities and carries alot of loads whose mass differs significantly – then each of these activities is rated and documented separately.
1. Rating of indicators
1.1 Rating of time indicator – T The weight (significance) of the length of time when a person handles loads can be assessed on the basis of table 1 by selecting one out of three forms how manual handling of loads is usually performed, namely: • fortasks consisting in the regular repetition of short activities (events, processes) of lifting, setting down, carrying (moving) of objects, their frequency (the number of short activities during one shift) is the basic value (parameter); • for tasks consisting in supporting (holding) a load, the total duration of holding is the basic value (parameter). The said duration results from adding up periodsof holding objects in each individual activity (event) during one working day; • for tasks consisting in moving (carrying) loads at long distances, one should consider the total distance at which the load was carried during one working day. For the needs of calculating the distance, an average walking speed of 4 km/h (about 1 m/s) is adopted. Table 1
Lifting or displacement operations (for...
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