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Occup Environ Med 59:800-806 doi:10.1136/oem.59.12.800
  • Original article

Definition and assessment of specific occupational demands concerning lifting, pushing, and pulling based on a systematic literature search

  1. J Bos,
  2. P P F M Kuijer,
  3. M H W Frings-Dresen
  1. J Bos, P P F M Kuijer, M H W Frings-Dresen, Coronel Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
 Drs J Bos, Coronel Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, PO Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, Netherlands;
 jurriaan.bos{at}amc.uva.nl
  • Accepted 14 May 2002

Abstract

Aims: (1) To find a universal strategy for the identification of specific demands of a job or task, focusing on occupations in which there may be an increased risk for health complaints owing to these specific demands. (2) To select reliable and valid tests concerning lifting, pushing, and pulling, which consider the relation between occupational work demands and the assessment of the maximally acceptable load on an individual level.

Methods: Literature search was performed using Medline (1988 to May 2001), Embase (1966 to May 2001), and NIOSHTIC (1971–98).

Results: No universal strategy was found for the definition of specific occupational demands. Therefore a “three step strategy” was formulated for defining specific occupational demands in a job or a task in order to prevent health complaints on an individual level. Many tests were found in the literature concerning lifting, but only a few concerning pushing and pulling. None of the tests concerning pushing, pulling, or lifting considered the relation between work demands and the assessment of the maximally acceptable load on an individual level. Furthermore, none of the tests met the criteria of reliability and prognostic value for musculoskeletal complaints completely. Only for the prognostic value of relative strength capacity tests concerning pushing pulling and lifting, did there appear to be limited proof for the development of musculoskeletal complaints.

Conclusions: In general, for the prevention of work related health complaints, it can be suggested that more attention should be paid to: (1) the definition of specific occupational demands; (2) the assessment of specific occupational demands; and (3) the quality of tests for specific occupational demands.

Footnotes