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Nelson & Associates :: Manual Lifting & Materials Handling :: ACGIH Lifting TLV

Analysis of Manual Lifting Using ACGIH Lifting TLVs


ACGIH Lifting TLVs (threshold limit values) represent recommended workplace lifting conditions under which it is believed nearly all workers may be repeatedly exposed, day after day, without developing work-related low back and shoulder disorders associated with repetitive lifting tasks.

ACGIH Lifting TLVs consist of three tables with weight limits for two-handed mono-lifting tasks within 30 degrees of the sagittal (neutral forward) plane. Mono-lifting tasks are those in which the loads are similar and repeated throughout the day.

Table 1 lists weight limits associated with lifting tasks of short duration involving ≤ 2 hours per day with ≤ 60 lifts per hour, or > 2 hours per day with ≤ 12 lifts per hour (which would include single lifts).

Table 2 lists weight limits associated with lifting tasks of short duration involving > 2 hours per day with > 12 ≤ and 30 lifts per hour, or ≤ 2 hours per day with > 60 and ≤ 360 lifts per hour.

Table 3 lists weight limits associated with lifting tasks of short duration involving > 2 hours per day with > 30 and ≤ 360 lifts per hour.

The TLV cautions that in the presence of any factor(s) or working condition(s) listed below, professional judgment should be used to reduce weight limits below those recommended in the TLVs:

  • High frequency lifting > 360 lifts per hour.
  • Extended work shifts: lifting performed for longer than 8 hours per day.
  • High asymmetry: lifting more than 30 degrees away from the sagittal plane.
  • Rapid lifting motions and motions with twisting (e.g. from side to side).
  • One-handed lifting.
  • Constrained lower body posture, such as lifting while seated or kneeling.
  • High heat and humidity.
  • Lifting unstable objects (e.g., liquids with shifting center of mass or lack of coordination or equal sharing in multi-person lifts).
  • Poor hand coupling: lack of handles, cutouts, or other grasping points.
  • Unstable footing (e.g. inability to support the body with both feet while standing)

Special note regarding one-hand lifts: As stated, ACGIH Lifting TLV tables provide weight limits for two-hand mono-lifting tasks and do not represent the lifting limits for one-hand lifting. However, the ACGIH Lifting TLV document states that "professional judgment [can] be used to reduce weight limits...for one-handed lifting...below those recommended in the TLVs" for two-hand lifting. Thus, if a task is deemed unacceptable under ordinary two-hand lift conditions, such a task would also be unacceptable (but even more so) under one-hand lift conditions.

For more information regarding the ACGIH Lifting TLV, use the following link to go directly to the ACGIH TLV site:

http://www.acgih.org/Store/ProductDetail.cfm?id=1788

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