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The accuracy of a 2D video-based lifting monitor

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A widely used risk prediction tool, the revised NIOSH lifting equation (RNLE), provides the recommended weight limit (RWL), but is limited by analyst subjectivity, experience, and resources. This paper describes a robust, non-intrusive, straightforward approach to automatically extract spatial and temporal factors necessary for the RNLE using a single video camera in the sagittal plane. The participant’s silhouette is segmented by motion information and the novel use of a ghosting effect provides accurate detection of lifting instances, and hand and feet location prediction. Laboratory tests using 6 participants, each performing 36 lifts, showed that a nominal 640 pixel × 480 pixel 2D video, in comparison to 3D motion capture, provided RWL estimations within 0.2 kg (SD = 1.0 kg). The linear regression between the video and 3D tracking RWL was R 2 = 0.96 (slope = 1.0, intercept = 0.2 kg). Since low definition video was used in order to synchronise with motion capture, better performance is anticipated using high definition video.

Practitioner's summary: An algorithm for automatically calculating the revised NIOSH lifting equation using a single video camera was evaluated in comparison to laboratory 3D motion capture. The results indicate that this method has suitable accuracy for practical use and may be, particularly, useful when multiple lifts are evaluated.

Abbreviations: 2D: Two-dimensional; 3D: Three-dimensional; ACGIH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists; AM: asymmetric multiplier; BOL: beginning of lift; CM: coupling multiplier; DM: distance multiplier; EOL: end of lift; FIRWL: frequency independent recommended weight limit; FM: frequency multiplier; H: horizontal distance; HM: horizontal multiplier; IMU: inertial measurement unit; ISO: International Organization for Standardization; LC: load constant; NIOSH: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; RGB: red, green, blue; RGB-D: red, green, blue – depth; RNLE: revised NIOSH lifting equation; RWL: recommended weight limit; SD: standard deviation; TLV: threshold limit value; VM: vertical multiplier; V: vertical distance
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Keywords: Manual lifting; NIOSH lifting equation; lower back pain prevention; motion monitoring; video

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA; 2: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Taft Laboratories, Cincinnati, OH, USA; 3: Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA

Publication date: August 3, 2019

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