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Occupational low back pain (LBP) remains a leading safety and health challenge. This cross-sectional investigation measured the prevalence of LBP in residential carpenters and investigated ergonomic risk factors. Ninety-four carpenters were investigated for LBP presence and associated risk factors. Ten representative job-tasks were evaluated using the Ovako Working Posture Analysis System (OWAS) and ErgoMaster 2D software to measure elements of posture, stress, and risk. Job-tasks were found to differ significantly for total lumbar compression and shear at peak loading (p < .001), ranging from 2 956 to 8 606 N and 802 to 1 974 N respectively. OWAS indicated that slight risk for injury was found in 10 job-tasks while distinct risk was found in 7 of the 10 job-tasks. Seven of the 10 job-tasks exceeded the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) action limit of 3 400 N for low back loading. The point prevalence for LBP was 14% while the annual prevalence was 38%.


Gilkey, David P, et al. (2007). Low Back Pain Among Residential Carpenters: Ergonomic Evaluation Using OWAS and 2D Compression Estimation. International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 13(3), 305-321.