A checklist for evaluating ergonomic risk factors associated with upper extremity cumulative trauma disorders

Ergonomics. 1993 Jul;36(7):807-31. doi: 10.1080/00140139308967945.


A two-page checklist for determining the presence of ergonomic risk factors associated with the development of upper extremity cumulative trauma disorders (e.g., repetitiveness, local mechanical contact stresses, forceful manual exertions, awkward postures, and hand tool usage) was developed and evaluated as part of a joint labour-management ergonomics intervention programme. This checklist was used by plant personnel at four work sites to assess the presence of upper extremity risk factors in 335 manufacturing and warehouse jobs. In addition, results generated by the checklist were compared to the results of ergonomic analyses performed by persons with advanced training (Masters degree) in occupational ergonomics for a subset of 51 jobs. Most of the jobs included in the survey were found to have significant exposures to upper extremity risk factors. Awkward work postures were common, with 90% of the jobs requiring wrist deviations outside the neutral range-of-motion. The jobs were also highly repetitive and frequently required workers to exert high hand forces. Results generated by the checklist were generally in agreement with results generated by the ergonomic analysts; however, the checklist was found to be more sensitive in identifying the presence of risk factors. The checklist was found to be an effective rapid-screening instrument for identifying jobs that expose workers to potentially harmful ergonomic stresses. However, the checklist methodology did not include sufficient documentation of work methods to identify specific job attributes associated with these exposures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arm Injuries / etiology*
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / etiology*
  • Ergonomics*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Posture
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Mechanical