Low-back disorder risk in automotive parts distribution

S. A. Lavender*, D. M. Oleske, G. B J Andersson, M. J Morrissey Kwasny

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to characterize the low-back disorder (LBD) risk in jobs found in automotive parts distribution centers. This descriptive study analyzed 53 jobs at seven automotive distribution facilities in the northern United States. Data were collected using the Lumbar Motion Monitor (LMM) and analyzed using the LMM LBD risk model. To assess the reliability of the sampling process, split-test reliability coefficients were calculated and found to be 0.90. Results indicate that, on average, the jobs in automotive parts distribution are moderately high risk (mean=56%, s.d.=11%); however, nearly half the sample had LMM LBD risk probability values greater than the 60% mark that has been used as a cut point in defining "high" risk [Marras W.S. et al., 2000. Prospective validation of a low-back disorder risk model and assessment of ergonomic interventions associated with manual materials handling tasks. Ergonomics 43, 1866-1886]. Many of the jobs contain trunk motions that are associated with high LBD risk; however, many of these same jobs had relatively low lifting frequencies which moderated the risk estimates. Relevance to industry: This study benchmarks the LBD risk levels within automotive parts distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-760
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Automotive parts
  • Back injury risk
  • Distribution center
  • LBD
  • LMM
  • Low-back disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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