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The RAMP tool helps companies to prevent repetitive strain injuries

Portriat of researcher
The aim of the tool developed by Linda Rose is to reduce repetitive strain injuries in the workplace (Photo: Jon Lindhe).

Health in focus

Published Apr 09, 2024

The RAMP ergonomics tool identifies the risks of musculoskeletal injuries and suggests measures. The method has been expanded to include support for management teams and a section for work tasks where hands are used a lot.
"This method is highly trusted in the industry, mainly because it has a good scientific basis," says Linda Rose.

Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common occupational disease in the EU, accounting for half of all absences from work. At least 100 million people in Europe are affected, and the societal costs are estimated at 0.5-2 percent of GDP.

The Excel-based Risk Management Assessment tool for Manual Handling Proactively (RAMP) was launched in 2017 by researchers at the Ergonomics unit at KTH Flemingsberg, led by senior lecturer Linda Rose. RAMP was developed at the request of and in collaboration with the industry and prominent experts in the field of ergonomics.

RAMP allows you to assess the risk of musculoskeletal injuries caused by a job, such as picking goods from an assembly line. It also suggests measures that can be implemented to reduce the risk of such injuries.

Updated version

“For example, for a factory, you can see which workstations and jobs have an increased risk of developing musculoskeletal injuries and where to prioritise work to reduce the risks. It is possible to see which tasks are the worst, which risks are the worst and how to rotate the work so that employees are not exposed to the same high risks at all workstations”, says Linda Rose.

The RAMP package includes the Excel tool, three free self-correcting online courses, and a website. The researchers' paper on the package has also been awarded the "Best Paper Award 2020" by Applied Ergonomics, the highest-ranked scientific journal in the field of ergonomics.

Recently, the KTH researchers behind RAMP released an updated version. In RAMP 2.0, it is possible to form key figures from data, produce diagrams and see results at different levels of detail.

Multiple methods

“In addition to tracking trends in the impact of systematic OSH initiatives on risks or productivity, management teams can compare risks between departments within a company or in a group. RAMP also supports tracking results over time so that it is possible to see how risk levels have changed in trend charts when the measures have been implemented systematically. The charts become a management support. It is also possible to combine RAMP data with other company data, such as quality deficiencies and sick leave," says Linda Rose.

A web-based version of the tool is under development. As requested by industry, RAMP has also been expanded to include a section that focuses on work involving repeated application of force with hands or fingers, such as many of the tasks performed by dental hygienists and electricians.

“This means that the method can be applied to many more jobs than before. Many people have problems using their hands a lot at work. Extending RAMP eliminates the need for multiple methods, and this method is highly trusted in the industry, mainly because it has a good scientific basis. This, combined with the fact that RAMP includes more relevant risk factors than other methods and supports how companies can address the risks, contributes to its appreciation and widespread use," says Linda Rose.

More information about RAMP is accessible on the RAMP website .

Text: Sabina Fabrizi

Health in focus

How can we reduce ill health, prevent disease and improve care? Regardless of age and where we live in the world, wellbeing is a fundamental issue for humanity. In a series of articles, we provide some examples of research, innovations and new ways of thinking from KTH with a focus on health.

Belongs to: About KTH
Last changed: Apr 09, 2024