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Review on Pen and Paper Based Observational Methods for Assessing Work-related Upper Limb Disorders


  • Department of Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering,University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia UTHM 86400 Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia


This review aims to give an overview of current techniques available for pen and paper based observational methods in assessing work-related upper limb disorders. Searched from an electronic database for materials from 1993 until 2015, the methods discovered were based on upper limb disorders, observational method, risk factors and musculoskeletal disorders. The evaluation process for selected publication has been conducted by two researchers. Seven observational methods used to assess exposure to work-related Upper Limb Disorders (ULDs)were identified. The risk factors involved in current techniques of pen and paper based observational tools were postures, force, repetition, vibration, movement, frequency of action and duration. From the seven methods, only three methods were proven to be reliable and rated as moderate to good. For the three methods reviewed, the validity test showed moderate results. Many observational tools exist, but no single tool appears to cover all of the risk factors which is related to upper limb. Although the most important factor in developing tool is proper validation of exposure assessment techniques, the existing observational method did not test reliability and validity.


Ergonomic Risk Factors, Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pen and Paper Based Observational Methods, Upper Limb Disorders

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