In occupational medicine, degenerative diseases and malformations of the spine are one of the main reasons for requests for fitness assessment for specific jobs, especially among workers involved in manual handling tasks. By means of a selected review of the specialised literature, the authors identify analysis procedures and precise criteria for assessing compatibility between the clinical condition of the spine and manual handling tasks. Attention is drawn in particular to the diseases caused or at least aggravated by mechanical overloading of the spine. For each of these a set of diagnostic criteria is established which could be useful in defining the various levels of severity. On another front, by using tried and tested methods and criteria to identify the weight limits that can be lifted by healthy subjects in various manual handling situations, an approach was developed that can be applied to establish the weight limits that can be lifted by subjects with spinal diseases. By combining the two factors, risk level and damage level, a set of disorders was established that correspond to three different fitness levels. At each level, manual load handling was only allowed up to certain weights and for handling conditions that became increasingly stringent as the severity of the disorder increased. The paper outlines the clinical protocols and the protocols for reconstructing work exposure. The procedural differences involved in the case of fitness assessments in the pre-employment stage are also briefly discussed.
|Translated title of the contribution||Diseases of the dorsal-lumbar spine and manual handling tasks: Guidelines for fitness assessment|
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Medicina del Lavoro|
|Publication status||Published - 1993|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health