New Report Helps OHS Practitioners Conduct Posture Assessments in the Workplace

Published August 6, 2014

NIOSH recently released a new resource to help occupational safety and health practitioners conduct improved posture assessments in the workplace, which can assist with the prevention and control of occupational musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The report describes a research-based approach for assessing torso and arm posture; discusses enhancements including the benefits of digital video, computer software, training, and the use of visual cues; and provides general guidelines for the video recording and analysis of workers’ posture. The report, Observation-Based Posture Assessment: Review of Current Practice and Recommendations for Improvement, is a joint effort between NIOSH and the Canadian Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders.

According to NIOSH, tips for recording and analyzing posture include:

  • Record the task from multiple views and encourage the worker to avoid loose-fitting clothing
  • If possible, have one of those views be perpendicular to the plane of the joint movement
  • Zoom in on limb segments so that the joint of interest is as large as possible in the camera field of view

The report is available for download on the NIOSH website.