Observations of working postures in garages using the Ovako Working posture Analysing System (OWAS) and consequent workload reduction recommendations.Ergonomics. 1990 Feb; 33(2):209-20.E
The working postures of mechanics (n = 84) in 42 garages were observed using the Ovako Working posture Analysis System (OWAS). During observation, both working postures and work activities were recorded. A computer program was developed for the data analyses. Using this program it is possible to calculate the working posture load for each work activity and the contribution of a specific activity to the total working posture load. This is a substantial extension of the original OWAS method. Five out of 19 observed postures of the body members were classified as Action Category 2, which suggests they were slightly harmful to the musculoskeletal system and likely to cause discomfort. Of the so-called typical working postures, 31.9% was classified in Action Category 2, suggesting that during a substantial part of the working day typical working postures occur which are at least slightly harmful to the musculoskeletal system. Moreover, those work activities principally causing the workload to fall in OWAS' higher Action Categories were identified. For each of these three work activities an alternative work method was observed. The data show that in all three work activities the use of a vehicle lift reduces the number of poor working postures thereby reducing the load on the musculoskeletal system.