The repealed OSHA Ergonomics Program Standard included a section naming some of the analysis tools and methods available for the evaluation of workplace musculoskeletal (MSD) risk factors. Included in this list were proposed Threshold Limit Values (TLV) for hand activity.
The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) develops TLVs as guidelines to assist in the control of health hazards. While TLVs are recognized guidelines around the world, they are not law and carry no legal enforcement.
In a statement on work-related musculoskeletal disorders, ACGIH “recognizes [MSDs] as an important occupational health problem that can be managed using an ergonomics health and safety program.”
ACGIH states that major program elements should include:
- Recognition of the problem
- Evaluation of suspected jobs for possible risk factors
- Identification and evaluation of causative factors
- Involvement of workers as fully informed active participants
- Appropriate health care for workers who have developed musculoskeletal disorders.
With this in mind, ACGIH has published a Notice of Intent to Establish Hand Activity Level. The TLV is based upon epidemiological, psychosocial, and biomechanical studies and is intended for ‘mono-task’ jobs performed for 4 or more hours per day. The TLV specifically considers average hand activity level as based on the frequency of hand exertions and the duty cycle, and peak hand force which is normalized on a scale of 0-10, which corresponds to 0%-100% of the population reference strength.
For more information on guidelines for hand activity levels see the ACGIH.
The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) is a member-based organization and community of professionals that advances worker health and safety through education and the development and dissemination of scientific and technical knowledge.