Ergonomic Risk Assessment Methodologies for Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders: A Patent Overview

Isabel L. Nunes, DEE Group Author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders include a wide range of inflammatory and degenerative conditions affecting muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, peripheral nerves, and supporting blood vessels. These disorders, with a cause associated with work, have heavy economic consequences, cause suffering, and often lead to permanent disability. WRMD are the main occupational diseases, affecting over 1/3 of the workers in Europe. WRMD have a multifactorial nature, meaning that multiple risk factors contribute to their onset, like posture, force, repetition, cold, vibration, or stress. The ergonomic workplace analysis is a process that comprehends several steps, including data collection, ergonomic risk assessment and advice regarding the interventions required to eliminate or at least reduce the risk factors that contribute to the development of WRMD. The present article presents a review of patents related with workstation ergonomic risk assessment to WRMD risk factors, which have been filed worldwide in the last ten years. After the search performed using the search engines of the US Patent Office and of the European Patent Office, a screening resulted in the selection of 18 patents or patent applications. The patents presented were analyzed and categorized considering the functionalities of data collection, ergonomic risk assessment and advice that these systems and methods offer to their users.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-132
JournalRecent Patents on Biomedical Engineering
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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