OWAS identifies the most common work posture the back (4 posture), arms (3 posture) and legs (7 posture), and the weight of the load handled (3 categories). Whole body posture is described by these body parts with a four digit-code. These 252 postures have been classified to four action categories indicating needs for ergonomic changes. The observations are made as “snapshot” and sampling has usually been with constant time intervals.
OWAS was developed in Finland in steel company, Ovako Oy, in 1973 to describe the workload in a overhauling of iron smelting ovens (Karhu 1977). A portable computer system for coding and analysis of OWAS has been developed (Kivi 1991)
HSE is Health Safety and Environment
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