Observation-based posture assessment practices


David M. Andrews, Patricia L. Weir, and Brian D. Lowe

Key messages

  • Observation-based posture assessment methods are widely used for quantifying risk factors during work, helping to inform job design decisions, and establishing safe work limits
  • Many of these methods are not standardized in terms of the categories used to quantify working postures, or how postures are recorded
  • Determining the optimal trade-off between the size of the observer error and the likelihood of making an error is an objective way of quantifying the optimal posture category size minimizing observer error and helping practitioners optimize observation-based posture recording and analysis practices

Implications for the prevention of MSD

By using observation-based tools and recording and analysis practices which are supported by research evidence, practitioners can accurately identify and quantify MSD risk factors, such as posture, when addressing worker health and safety issues.  Strategies can then be devised and implemented that are specifically aimed at reducing and preventing MSDs associated with poor working postures.

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Link to CRE-MSD Position Paper