Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Effect of Forklift Operation on Lower Back Pain: An Evidence-Based Approach
by Viruet, Heriberto Barriera, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, 2006, 147; 10857200
Abstract (Summary)

Numerous reviews have been conducted on the relationship between working as heavy equipment operator and musculoskeletal disorders. These reviews were qualitative in nature and did not include the ingredients of an evidence-based approach. This research deals with a critical appraisal and meta analysis designed to provide an answer to the relationship of whole-body vibration (WBV) and postures with lower back pain among heavy equipment operators (chapter 2). Chapter 3 deals with an evidence-based approach designed to provide an answer to the relationship of WBV and postures with lower back pain among heavy equipment operators, and identify mechanisms to minimize the risk of lower back pain among forklift operators. The published articles were obtained from a search of electronic databases and bibliographies of identified articles. The critical appraisal was conducted using an Epidemiological Appraisal Instrument. The meta-analysis method was conducted using statistical techniques employing fixed-effect and random-effect models.

Eighteen observational articles in chapter two and six observational articles in chapter three, satisfied the inclusion criteria adopted in this research. The methodological qualities of the published studies ranged from marginal to average. In chapter two the meta-relative risk was 2.2 and 2.1 in chapter three. The meta-analysis results shows that heavy equipment and forklift operators are at more than twice the risk of lower back pain of those workers not exposed to operate heavy equipment or forklift. Some of the factors that influenced vibration in forklift equipment are: seat, speed, florr surface, and tires. Also awkward postures and static postures are affected by: seat, time seated, and the task performed. There appears to be a certain degree of evidence for a causal relationship between working as heavy equipment or forklift operators and lower back disorders. The reported findings point to an urgent need for improved ergonomic design of heavy equipment vehicles. The significance of this study is that a systematic approach to evidence-based decision making is likely to improve the occupational safety and heath programs of heavy equipment operators.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Genaidy, Ashraf
Commitee:
School: University of Cincinnati
Department: Engineering : Industrial Engineering
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Industrial engineering
Keywords: Evidence-based, Forklift operation, Lower-back pain, Meta-analysis, Whole-body vibration
Publication Number: 10857200
ISBN: 9780438023055
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