Biomechanical assessment of three rebar tying techniques

Int J Occup Saf Ergon. 2007;13(3):279-89. doi: 10.1080/10803548.2007.11076728.


The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a study of ironworkers to evaluate their risk for developing back and hand injuries from hand-tying reinforcing steel bar and to investigate whether power tying tools can be an effective intervention for the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. A field investigation of biomechanical loading when using 3 techniques to tie together rebar was conducted. Researchers measured employees' wrist and forearm movement with goniometers and videotaped and analyzed trunk postures. Manually tying rebar at ground level involved sustained deep trunk bending and rapid, repetitive, and forceful hand-wrist and forearm movements. Using a power tier significantly reduced the hand-wrist and forearm movements and allowed the ironworkers to use one free hand to support their trunk posture while tying. Adding an extension handle to the power tier allowed the ironworkers to tie rebar while standing erect, minimizing sustained trunk flexion.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Back Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Facility Design and Construction / methods*
  • Hand Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Occupational Health
  • Task Performance and Analysis