Background: Recommended weight limit for manual materials handlers has to be decided based on the individual characteristics of the person and age is one of the major variable affecting maximal lifting capacity. But there is limited information on pattern of change in lifting capacity with age. OBJECTIVE: To determine the influence of age on the maximum acceptable weight of lift among manual materials handlers. METHODS: Two hundred and seventeen male construction workers were grouped into four age quotas-19-28, 29-38, 39-48 and 49-58 years. Lifting capacity was determined using progressive isoinertial lifting evaluation, adopting semi-squat technique of lifting at two levels: waist and shoulder. RESULTS: A statistically significant increase in the maximum acceptable weight was observed from first to second age group followed by a gradual decline. The percentage of decline from second to third age group was 11.89% and 14.34% and from third to fourth age group was 5.60% and 19.90% for waist and shoulder level respectively. CONCLUSION: Pattern of change in lifting capacity with age among manual materials handlers has been investigated in this study. Lifting capacity was found to be the greatest in 29-38 year age group, therefore prescribing recommended weight limit uniformly for all the workers may not be the best practice.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health