chapter  41
14 Pages

The ACGIH TLV for Hand Activity Level

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) continue to be a major cause of disability and lost work in many

industries involving hand-intensive activities (BLS, 2003). MSDs are “multifactorial,” which means

that they may be caused or aggravated by multiple factors. Factors that pertain to the individual, such

as weight, age, and leisure activities, are referred to as “personal” factors. Factors that pertain to the

job, such as work posture, force required to handle materials and use tools, and recovery time, are

referred to as “work-related” factors. There is a growing body of literature that demonstrates exposure

to work factors results in an increased risk of MSDs (NRC, 1999; NRC and IOM, 2001). MSDs that

result from exposure to work factors are referred to as “work-related” MSDs or “WMSDs.” This

chapter describes the American Council of Industrial Hygienists Threshold Limit Value (ACGIH

TLVw) for monotask hand work and reviews the basic concepts underlying general development of

TLVs. It discusses specifically some of the studies on which the TLV for monotask handwork was

based and some studies of the TLV that have been reported since it was proposed. The chapter concludes

with the concepts and methods that are used to apply this TLV.