Force Copy

Force is the amount of muscular effort required to perform a movement or task. Forceful muscular exertions overload muscles, tendons, joints and discs and are associated with most MSDs.

Repetitive force – using force repeatedly over a period of time to move or support an object:

  • Lifting and stacking goods onto a pallet
  • Gripping and handling bricks when bricklaying
  • Repetitively pressing components with the thumbs or another part of the hand to assemble an item
  • Prolonged application of therapeutic massage treatments
  • Removing splinting material from patients using shears

Sustained force – occurs when force is applied continuously over a period of time:

  • Pushing or pulling a trolley around hospital wards
  • Holding down a trigger to operate a power tool
  • Supporting a plaster sheet while fixing it to a ceiling
  • Carrying objects over long distances
  • Supporting, positioning or stabilising a patient’s limb during surgery or when applying splinting or casting material.

High force – may be exerted by the back, arm or leg muscles or by the hands and fingers:

  • Lifting, lowering or carrying a heavy object
  • Lifting, lowering or carrying an object that cannot be positioned close to the body
  • Pushing or pulling an object that is hard to move or stop
  • Restraining a person or animal

Sudden force – jerky or unexpected movements while handling an item or load are particularly hazardous because the body must suddenly adapt to the changing force:

  • Impact recoil of a large nail gun
  • Throwing or catching objects
  • Cutting reinforcement steel with large bolt cutters
  • Carrying an unbalanced or unstable load such as bagged stock feed pellets that suddenly moves
  • Handling frightened or resistant animals
  • Handling patients who suddenly resist or no longer assist during the handling procedure