Determining spinal strain in selected occupations

Project No. FFFF 0132


completed 03/1999


Inclusion of spinal complaints caused through lifting and carrying heavy loads and extreme forward-leaning posture into the list of occupational illnesses; accident insurers require spinal strain catalogues for the treatment and prevention of occupational illnesses (risk register). Goal: determining spinal strain via bio-mechanical model calculations on the basis of posture and load; production of daily load documentation profiles


Fields studies at work places; analysis and codification of posture and action forces with video recordings and action forces, calculation of static spinal strain (the dynamic strain could not be determined as a result of the very high costs of quantitative analysis within the framework of the plan) in accordance with the "Dortmunder" model during shifts. Implementing the ErgonView process (contact free numerical recording of posture) at a model work place in the laboratory with measurement of weights and forces, calculation of spinal strain, comparison with field study results


Quantification and analysis of spinal strain in selected jobs (building construction, metalworking, meat processing, waste disposal) throughout complete shifts; strain on the lumbar vertebral column as torsional moments and forward bending moments, intervertebral disc compressional and transverse forces with model; illustration in shift profiles with statistical parameters; testing different parameter combinations for comprehensive assessment of the lumbar vertebral column strain. In many working situations the strains recorded exceeded standard values (vertebral disk compression).


Jordan et al.: Ermittlung von ganzschichtigen Zeitverläufen der Wirbelsäulenbelastung bei ausgewählten beruflichen Tätigkeiten. Verh Dr. ges. Arbeitsmed Umweltmed 36 (1996)

Jordan et al.: Belastung der Lendenwirbelsäule. Die BG (1998) Nr. 6, S. 343-348

Dortmunder Lumbalbelastungsstudie, Schriftenreihe des Hauptverbandes der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG), Sankt Augustin

Last Update:

2 Aug 2000


Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Research institution(s):
  • Institut für Arbeitsphysiologie, Universität Dortmund

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

handling of loads


Heben und Tragen von Lasten, Messverfahren, Berufskrankheit

Description, key words:

Calculation of the bio-mechanical strain on the lumbar vertebral column when handling heavy loads with the help of a special model