New App Helps Workers Stay Safe When Lifting Objects
NIOSH recently released a new mobile app intended to help workers stay safe when manually lifting objects on the job. NLE Calc, which is designed for workers in industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, and retail, is based on the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation, or RNLE, an internationally recognized standard for safe lifting. RNLE was developed by NIOSH researchers to determine weight limits for preventing back injuries caused by manually lifting objects. Workers can enter data about a lifting task into the NLE Calc app, which will provide recommendations to help them optimize the task or perform it differently to prevent injury. Examples of these recommendations include bringing the load closer to the body, avoiding twisting while lifting, and raising the load to waist height before lifting.
The new app also calculates the lifting index—the ratio of the load lifted to the recommended weight limit for the lifting task—and displays the risk level as yellow, orange, or red. The colors correspond to low, medium, or high levels of risk.
“Unlike most commercially available lifting apps, NLE Calc also gives workers the option of using the composite lifting equation to optimize multiple complex lifting tasks,” NIOSH’s press update reads.
The app is free and is available for both iOS and Android devices. To download it, visit iTunes or Google Play and search “NLE Calc.”