The Critical Variables for The Risk Assessment Associated with Pushing and Pulling Activities in the Workplace: A Survey Among OSH Practitioners

T.S Hari Krishnan1,* , Mohd Nasrull Abdol Rahman1

1 Department of Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM), 86400 Parit Raja, Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia.

* corresponding author (email:

Page 60 – 68   |   Vol. 5 No. 1 2020   |    Available online on 1 Jun 2020


Pushing and pulling (PP) activities were initially introduced into the workplace to reduce exerting too much force during lifting and lowering, given it exposed workers to other health ailments due to the complexity associated with these activities. However, while some assessment tools are available and are used to assess PP activities, they neglect to address the main risk factors associated with PP activities. Therefore, in order to understand the risk factors associated with PP activities from an occupational safety and health (OSH) practitioner’s perspective, in this study, an online survey was undertaken involving OSH practitioners from respective organizations in gaining further insight into some of the issues. The variables of the study were selected based on the value of the mode as more significant compared to the value of the median for each variable. From a total of 23 variables, eleven variables (47.8%) (handle height, handgrip, load magnitude, frequency, distance, present of coworkers, posture, task duration, floor conditions, congestion in the workplace, and the age of workers) were found to be essential variables to include in performing a risk assessment of PP related activities. Noticeably, many of these variables are not currently incorporated or available in risk assessment tools. Therefore, a new assessment tool for PP activities should be developed by considering the input of OSH practitioners.


Pushing and pulling, risk assessment

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