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Pulling and Pushing

Transporting loads – predominantly using transport vehicles

Regarding this type of workload, employees normally use aids such as carts, trolleys, rollers, or overhead systems. These include, for example, wheel barrows, sack barrows, waste bins, and hospital beds.

If the arms and hands are used to push away the load from the body, this is called pushing. If the arms and hands are used to apply the force towards the body, this is called pulling. In this, the loads are not changed. Loads may include objects, persons, and animals.

Under certain conditions, the activities can be assigned to the types of workload "manual work processes" or "whole-body forces" depending on the level of force. For example, this is the case if material or boxes are moved by sliding them over the floor or the table or if loads are moved on rollers and ball tracks with little movement of the body.

Type of physical workload strains joints, spinal column, and cardiovascular system

While pulling and pushing, the main workload is caused by the weight of the load and the condition of the route to be travelled. Furthermore, the length of the route and/or how long the workload will be in effect are decisive. In addition, there are workload-specific aspects such as the type of aid and the arrangement of the rollers, the positioning accuracy, as well as the design of the handle. The execution conditions – for example, frequent interruptions of the movement or changes of direction – and the organisation of the work also play a role.

Due to the force exerted by the body, the upper and lower extremities, the spinal column, and the cardiovascular system are strained during pulling and pushing. Individual constitutional factors, the physical condition, and the experience regarding the activity performed additionally influence the likelihood of overstraining.

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