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New tools in Germany: development and appliance of the first two KIM ("lifting, holding and carrying" and "pulling and pushing") and practical use of these methods


The Key Indicator Methods (KIM) assess the risk of manual handling of loads on a screening level. Their purpose is the recognition and removal of job design deficits. The risk assessment is carried out in two stages. The first stage is the ordinal scaled description of workload items. The second stage is the evaluation of the degree of probability of physical overload. The intended user population are both practitioners in enterprises such as safety engineers, industrial engineers, and inspectors. The first two KIM were developed and tested from 1996 to 2001 in connection with the implementation of the EU directives into German national legislation. They consist of two independent, but formally adaptable methods for lifting, holding, and carrying and for pulling, and pushing. The KIM were drafted in the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) in close collaboration with the German Labour Inspectors. Numerous companies, scientists, statutory accident insurances, institutions, employer associations, and trade unions were involved. Since their first publication in 2000 and 2001, these methods are widely accepted among possible users with a corresponding broad application in Germany. They are recommended by the EU Labour Inspector Conference for application. In 2007 a third KIM for manual handling operating tasks KIM MHO were developed, tested, and validated in the last four years.