A new, free mobile app released by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) aims to help workers stay safe while manually lifting objects.
The app, called NLE Calc, is based on the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation (RNLE), an internationally-recognized standard for safe lifting.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
NIOSH designed the new app to assist workers in manufacturing, healthcare, retail and other industries where lifting is part of the job. NLE Calc determines a score based on the data entered based on a lifting task and provides recommendations to help optimize the task or perform it differently in order to prevent injury.
One-third of work-related injuries resulting in missed workdays can be attributed to musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) where lifting is part of the job, according to NIOSH. These injuries cost an estimated $45 to $54 billion annually in lost productivity and treatment.
In addition to calculating the lifting index, the app provides users with recommendations, some of which 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.
More information about NLE Calc or the topic of ergonomics and musculoskeletal disorders can be found on the NIOSH website.
To install the NLE Calc app on your iOS or Android device, visit iTunes or Google Play and search for NLE Calc.