Level of knowledge concerning safety and health protection for employees when handling heavy loads

Project No. FFFF 0119


completed 12/1994


Handling heavy loads leads to a risk of spinal damage. For this reason spinal disorders were included under illness nos. 2108 and 2109 in the list of occupational illnesses. A unified, secure basis and methodology are urgently required for the assessment of occupational strain and the risk resulting from this. Goal: compilation, assessment and evaluation of the relevant literature.


Literature study


The "guideline for the assessment of lifting and carrying work" contains a compilation and systematic analysis of epidemiological studies and relevant regulatory works as well as a compilation, explanation and assessment of measuring and assessment procedures. Risk analyses should be the starting point for preventive measures. The risk should be determined on the basis of strain and demand parameters and comparison with limit values. As well as bio-mechanical effects (spinal strain) risk analysis must also include effects on organs and bodily functions e.g. with physiological criteria such as metabolic rate while working, intra-abdominal pressure, pulse frequency during work, stamina, maximum strength etc. Furthermore, subjective assessment and epidemiological results should be brought in as criteria.


Leitfaden für die Beurteilung von Hebe- und Tragetätigkeiten (PDF, 11.8 MB). Hrsg.: Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften, Sankt Augustin 1995 (in German)

Last Update:



Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Research institution(s):
  • Institut für Arbeitsphysiologie, Universität Dortmund

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

handling of loads


Heben und Tragen von Lasten, Berufskrankheit, Messverfahren

Description, key words:

Overview of the level of knowledge with regard to the health risks of lifting and carrying heavy loads as well as the recognised methods/processes for determining and evaluating risks