App to help workers stay safe when doing manual lifting released

App to help workers stay safe when doing manual lifting released Photo: FirmBee

A new app has been released by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to help workers stay safe when manually lifting objects as part of their job.

The app, NLE Calc, is based on the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation (RNLE), an internationally recognized standard for safe lifting.

The new app is designed to help workers in manufacturing, healthcare, retail and other industries where lifting is part of the job. NLE Calc determines a score based on the data you enter about your lifting task and provides recommendations to help you optimize the task, or perform it differently, to prevent injury.

“NLE Calc is a quick and simple way for a worker to assess their risk for injury before they manually lift an object,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, MD. “The information workers used to find in a manual is now in their back pocket and can help prevent one of the most common, and costly, work-related injuries.”

The app also provides users with recommendations to optimize the lifting task. Some examples of recommendations include:

  • Bring the load closer to the body
  • Avoid twisting while lifting
  • Raise the load to waist height before lifting
  • Minimize the distance the load must be lifted

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD), which is common in jobs involving lifting cause one-third of work-related injuries resulting in missed workdays, costing about $45 to $54 billion annually in lost productivity and treatment, according to data from the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine.

More information about NLE Calc is available on the NIOSH website.