From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Ergonomics- Metal Tube Cutting

Task Prior to Abatement (Description)

Get tubes: The worker lifts metal tubes that are 24 feet long and weigh 50 to 100 pounds. The worker carries them to the saw table conveyor rolls.

Task Prior to Abatement (Method Which Identified Hazard)

Medical records. A 40 year-old male sustained bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome which produced a permanent disability of 10 pound lifting/carrying limitation.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Carrying)

The metal tubes are carried an extended distance between the tube storage area and the saw tables.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Force)

Lifting the weight of the metal tubes requires a high magnitude of low back muscle force.

The long/narrow shape of the metal tubes makes it difficult to handle the load in a stable manner.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Posture)

Bending at the waist is required to pick up the heavy metal tubes.

Ergonomic Solution (Engineering Controls)

An overhead electric chain hoist was installed to a trolley beam. The tubing was lifted with hooks at the ends of the chain attached to the ends of the tube.

Ergonomic Solution (Benefits)

An employee with a permanent impairment could continue working in the same job, thus avoiding business costs of retraining the injuried employee and replacement employee.

Ergonomic Solution (Method Which Verified Effectiveness)

The employee could perform the job responsibilities despite his lifting limitations and permanent wrist impairment.


Easy attachment of hooks to the ends of the tube is important.