Ergonomic Approach for Prevention of Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders

작업관련성 근골격계 질환 예방을 위한 인간공학적 접근

  • 정민근 (포항공과대학교 기계산업공학부) ;
  • 이인석 (한경대학교 안전공학과)
  • Published : 2003.03.01


In recent years, work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are one of major issues in occupational safety and health in Korea, since the number of injured workers has rapidly increased and the related regulation was amended to improve the work conditions. Main risk factors of WMSDs in Korean industries include manual handling of heavy weight loads, awkward postures, repetitive tasks, prolonged static muscle contraction, and so on. in this article, some ergonomics case studies for identifying the risk factors of WMSDs and far their prevention were introduced. They include a biomechanical analysis for the heavy-weight handling task in a machine-repair shop, physiological evaluation of backpack-carrying tasks in a beverage delivery job, and a set of psychophysical studies to evaluate static-postural load. These studies showed that there are several different ergonomic approaches to identifying and evaluating risk factors of WMSDs and to eliminating them or reducing their levels, and that it is important to select proper methods and apply them in improving the work conditions according to the characteristics of the task. In addition, it needs to develop practical and effective ergonomic tools to prevent WMSDs and to provide these tools to the safety managers in the field so that they can improve the tasks by themselves.