Kumulierendes Bewertungsverfahren zur Beurteilung des arbeitsbedingten Risikos von Muskel-Skelett-Erkrankungen bei manuellen Hebetätigkeiten

  • Cumulative assessment of physical load to evaluate the occupational risk of musculoskeletal disorders associated with manual lifting

Johnen, Laura; Nitsch, Verena (Thesis advisor); Schmauder, Martin (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : RWTH Aachen University (2023)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Dissertation, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, 2023


Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are one of the most common causes of chronic pain and physical limitations and lead to immense costs, since such disorders account for the most days of incapacity to work and, as a result, the highest production losses for the German economy. The occurrence of MSD is strongly associated with work-related physical risk factors. The analysis and, based on this, optimization of the prevailing physical exposure at the workplace is therefore of central importance both for keeping working people healthy and for maintaining the economic competitiveness. In this context, the sensor-based recording and evaluation of physical exposure factors promises fundamental advantages with regard to improving the prevention of work-related MSD. In view of increasing digitization, it is therefore important to use technological progress also in the context of ergonomic work design. For example, sensor-based, work-related stress data can be used to design physical work in an economical and humane manner. However, further development of ergonomic assessment methods is also needed to fully exploit the potential opportunities. As a specific use case focused on in the context of this research, the approach of cumulative spinal loading can be mentioned. The assessment of cumulative loading enables an improved evaluation for time-varying work-related physical exposure compared to peak or average-based assessment methods. The objective of this research is the evidence-based improvement of existing methods for the calculation of cumulative loading. Based on the results of three empirical studies, an optimized method for the calculation of an exposure index based on cumulative loading is systematically derived and validated based on previously developed criteria. The optimized method derived within the scope of this research can contribute to an improvement of the ergonomic work design in occupational practice. Both the effectiveness of possible work-organizational improvement measures and the distribution of work activities for collective loading-optimal design can be assessed on the basis of empirical evidence.


  • Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics [417110]