Comparing of Four Ergonomic Risk Assessment Methods of HAL-TLV, Strain Index, OCRA Checklist, and ART for Repetitive Work Tasks

Majid Motamedzade, Mahdi Mohammadian, Javad Faradmal


This study is aimed to compare the results obtained from four risk assessment methods, videlicet HAL-TLV, Strain index, OCRA checklist, and ART. These musculoskeletal disorders assessment tools are generally used in the studies as well as in the field of occupational health. In this study, the data was collected via assessments of 30 tasks by 9 raters in poultry slaughter, assembly, and container production industries using four methods of upper limb musculoskeletal disorder risk assessment. In order to determine the level of agreement between the risk assessment methods, the Spearman's rank correlation coefficient and Cohen's weighted kappa were used, according to which the highest agreement and correlation were found between ART and OCRA checklist methods, while the HAL-TLV and OCRA checklist exhibited the lowest agreement and correlation. The difference between the risk classification results of the studied methods could be due to the difference of definitions of the risk variables; therefore, selecting the assessment tools for assessing the task risks in the working environment must be in accordance with the assessment objectives and complexity of the work tasks.


Musculoskeletal Disorders, OCRA Checklist, Strain Index, ART, HAL-TLV

Full Text:



Takala E-P, Pehkonen I. Systematic evaluation of observational methods assessing biomechanical exposures at work. Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health. 2010;15(2):3-24.

Drinkaus P, Sesek R. Comparison of ergonomic risk assessment outputs from Rapid Upper Limb Assessment and the Strain Index for tasks in automotive assembly plants. Work. 2003;21(1):165-72.

Joseph C, Imbeau D, Nastasia I. Measurement consistency among observational job analysis methods during an intervention study. Int J Occup Saf Ergon. 2011;17(3):139-46.

Ferreira J, Gray M. Development of an assessment tool for repetitive tasks of the upper limbs (ART). 2009;11-12.

Steven Moore J, Garg A. The strain index: a proposed method to analyze jobs for risk of distal upper extremity disorders. American Industrial Hygiene Association. 1995;56(1):443-58.

Garg A, Kapellusch JM. The strain index and TLV for HAL: risk of lateral epicondylitis in a prospective cohort. Am J Ind Med. 2014;57(3):286-02.

Kapellusch JM, Garg A. The strain index and ACGIH TLV for HAL: risk of trigger digit in the WISTAH prospective cohort. Hum factors. 2014;56(2):98-11.

Colombini D, Occhipinti E. Risk assessment and management of repetitive movements and exertions of upper limbs: job analysis. OCRA Risk Indicies, Prevention Strategies and Design Principles: Elsevier Science2002.83-91.

Occhipinti E, Colombini D. IEA/WHO toolkit for WMSDs prevention: criteria and practical tools for a step by step approach. Work. 2012;41(4):3937-44.

Garg A, Kapellusch JM. Job analysis techniques for distal upper extremity disorders. Reviews of Human Factors and Ergonomics: Sage; 2011.149-96.

Paulsen R, Gallu T. The inter-rater reliability of Strain Index and OCRA Checklist task assessments in cheese processing. Appl Ergon. 2015;51(2):199-04.

Paulsen R, Schwatka N. Inter-rater reliability of cyclic and non-cyclic task assessment using the hand activity level in appliance manufacturing. Int J Ind Ergon. 2014;44(1):32-38.

Colombini D, Occhipinti E. Updating of application procedures and criteria for OCRA Checklist. Med Del Lav. 2011;102(3):1-39.

Latko WA, Armstrong TJ, Foulke JA, Herrin GD, Rabourn RA, Ulin SS. Development and evaluation of an observational method for assessing repetition in hand tasks. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1997;58(2):278-85.

Borg GA. Psychophysical bases of perceived exertion. Med sci sports exerc. 1982;14(1):377-81.

Chiasson M-È, Imbeau D. Comparing the results of eight methods used to evaluate risk factors associated with musculoskeletal disorders. Int J Ind Ergon. 2012;42(3):478-88.

Spielholz P, Bao S. Reliability and validity assessment of the hand activity level threshold limit value and strain index using expert ratings of mono-task jobs. Journal of occupational and environmental hygiene. 2008;5(2):250-57.

Jones T, Kumar S. Comparison of ergonomic risk assessment output in four sawmill jobs. Int J Occup Saf Ergon. 2010;16(4):105-11.

Landis JR, Koch GG. The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. biometrics. 1977;33(1):159-74.

Team RC. R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria, 2014.

Kapellusch JM, Silverstein BA. Risk assessments using the Strain Index and the TLV for HAL, part II: Multi-task jobs and prevalence of CTS. J Occup Environ Hyg. 2018;14(12):1011-19.

Proto AR, Zimbalatti G. Risk assessment of repetitive movements in olive growing: analysis of annual exposure level assessment models with the OCRA checklist. J Agric Saf Health. 2015;21(3):241-53.

Apostoli P, Sala E. Comparative analysis of the use of 4 methods in the evaluation of the biomechanical risk to the upper limb. Giornale italiano di medicina del lavoro ed ergonomia. 2003;26(1):223-41.

Rosecrance J, Paulsen R. Risk assessment of cheese processing tasks using the Strain Index and OCRA Checklist. Int J Ind Ergon. 2017;61(2):142-48.

Sala E, Torri D. Risk assessment for upper extremity work related muscoloskeletal disorders in different manufactures by applying six methods of ergonomic analysis. G Ital Med Lav Ergon. 2010;32(1):162-73.

Hoehne-Hueckstaedt U. Risk profiles for workrelated upper limb disorders (WRULDs) in jobs of the construction sector. 30th International Congress on Occupational Health (March 18-23, 2012)2012.

Serranheira F, Sousa Uva Ad. Evaluación de riesgo de ETRSME TMOLCE: diversas herramientas, diversos resultados!: Qué estamos midiendo? Med Segur Trab (Madr). 2008;54(4):34-44.

Iranian Journal of Health, Safety and Environment e-ISSN: :2345-5535 Iran university of Medical sciences, Tehran, Iran