Learn how to use the Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA) tool to evaluate whole body postural MSD risks.
This ergonomic assessment tool uses a systematic process to evaluate whole body postural MSD and risks associated with job tasks. A single page worksheet is used to evaluate required or selected body posture, forceful exertions, type of movement or action, repetition, and coupling.
Meet REBA (Rapid Entire Body Assessment)
The Rapid Entire Body Assessment worksheet (REBA) was designed for easy use without need for an advanced degree in ergonomics or expensive equipment. You only need the worksheet and a pen. On second thought, you probably should finish reading and studying this guide, and I suppose a clipboard would help as well. Using the REBA worksheet, the evaluator will assign a score for each of the following body regions: wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders, neck, trunk, back, legs and knees. After the data for each region is collected and scored, tables on the form are then used to compile the risk factor variables, generating a single score that represents the level of MSD risk:
Using the REBA Assesment Tool – Getting Ready
The evaluator should prepare for the assessment by interviewing the worker being evaluated to gain an understanding of the job tasks and demands, and observing the worker’s movements and postures during several work cycles.
Selection of the postures to be evaluated should be based on:
- The most difficult postures and work tasks (based on worker interview and initial observation)
- The posture sustained for the longest period of time, or
- The posture where the highest force loads occur
The REBA can be conducted quickly, so multiple positions and tasks within the work cycle can usually be evaluated without a significant time/effort cost. When using REBA, only the right or left side is assessed at a time. After interviewing and observing the worker the evaluator can determine if only one arm should be evaluated, or if an assessment is needed for both sides.
The video above is a preview of an advanced training course on the REBA assessment tool. The full version is available to you through the E+ Education training website.
Using the REBA Assessment Tool – Example
The REBA worksheet is divided into two body segment sections on the labeled A and B. Section A (left side) covers the neck, trunk, and leg. Section B (right side) covers the arm and wrist. This segmenting of the worksheet ensures that any awkward or constrained postures of the neck, trunk or legs which might influence the postures of the arms and wrist are included in the assessment.
Score Group A (Trunk, Neck and Legs) postures first, then score Group B (Upper Arms, Lower Arms, and Wrists) postures for left and right. For each region, there is a posture scoring scale and additional adjustments which need to be considered and accounted for in the score.
Steps 1-3: Neck, Trunk and Leg Analysis
Note: In step 2, a +2 score was used for trunk position (0-20 degrees) and +1 was added for the side bending adjustment (when viewed from behind, worker was left side bending approximately 10 degrees) for a total score of +3.
Steps 4-6: Calculate the score for Group A as outlined below:
Step 4: Using values from steps 1-3, locate the score for this step in table A.
Step 5: Add the force score to this box. In this case, the weight of the component part inserted by the worker is 11.5 lbs. Therefore, the score for this step is +1.
Step 6: Add the values in step 4 and 5 to obtain score A. Find row for Score A in Table C and circle value.
Steps 7-9: Right Arm and Wrist Analysis
Note: In step 7 the right upper arm is raised more than 90 degrees for a score of +4, a total adjustment of +2 is added because the shoulder is raised (+1) and the upper arm is abducted (+1) for a total score of +6. In step 8, a +2 score was used due to the arm position outside of the neutral range. In step 9, a twisting adjustment of +1 was added to the position score of +2 for a total wrist score of +3.
Steps 10-13: Calculate the score for Group B as outlined below:
Step 10: Using values from steps 7-9, locate the posture score for this step in table B.
Step 11: Add the coupling score. In this case, the coupling is considered fair (+1).
Step 12: First, add the values in step 10 and 11 to obtain score B. Next, find column in Table C and match with Score A in row from step 6 to obtain Table C Score.
Step 13: The Activity Score is +1 due to job requiring small range actions (more than 4x per minute). The Final REBA Score = Table C Score + Activity Score
Final REBA Score = 9
In this case, the final REBA score of 9 indicates high risk and calls for further investigation and engineering and/or work method changes to reduce or eliminate MSD risk (see table above).
After further investigation, it was determined by the worker and the department group leader that a different method could be used to perform this task. See before/after pictures and new REBA results below:
A follow-up analysis using the REBA worksheet was performed. Using the new work method, the final REBA score was reduced from 9 to 4.
Additional REBA Resources
- REBA Calculator (available as a download inside E+ Education)
- E+ Education advanced REBA training course
- Step-by-Step Guide PDF file