A plumbing-ware manufacturing company asked NIOSH to assist in an ergonomics evaluation of their production operations after an OSHA inspection found a high number of back injuries at the facility relative to the rates at other manufacturing plants in the same industrial classification. This industry as a whole had the tenth highest OSHA reportable incidence rate in the United States for 1986. The work areas where most back injuries had occurred were identified by the plant's safety director, and the jobs believed most stressful to the workers' backs became the main targets of the evaluation that ensued [HETA 88–237–L1960].
The owner and employees of a preschool day care center asked NIOSH to identify possible causes of musculoskeletal problems, chiefly back pain and lower extremity (knee) pain and discomfort, reported by the teachers and aides at the school. Subsequent data collected on symptomatic complaints and observations and analyses of work activities indicated that factors such as frequent lifting of infants and sustained periods of kneeling, stooping, squatting, and trunk bending were responsible for the problems [HETA 93–0995–242].