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.; Keefe, Thomas J.; Bigelow, Philip L.; Herron, Robert E.; Duvall, Kirby; Hautaluoma, Jacob E.; Rosecrance, John C.; and Sesek, Richard, "Low back pain among residential carpenters: ergonomic evaluation using OWAS and 2D compression estimation" (2007). Safety Health & Industrial Hygiene. 45.