Ergonomic Issues in Team Lifting
In this article we review and critique the current body of scientific knowledge regarding the use of team lifting including: (a) psychophysical studies of team lifting capacity, and (b) studies of manual handling, patient handling, and stretcher carriage performed by lifting teams. The consensus of the research literature is that team-lifting capacity is greater than the lifting capacity of an individual, but that the capacity of lifting teams is less than the summed capacity of individual team members. Further, biomechanical, psychophysical, and physiological stress tends to be reduced compared to the equivalent lifts and transfers performed by individuals. However, the stress associated with team lifting depends on a broad range of individual team member, load, task and environmental factors, which can interact in unexpected ways. Caution is therefore recommended against making broad assumptions regarding the use of team lifting. Future studies are needed to examine how effort and load are distributed among lifting team members, with emphasis on identifying factors that may increase the risk of injury.
Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing